Do you hear what I hear? A paunch of politically correct individuals is waging a smear campaign against our beloved Titan of Toys, Santa Claus!
The issue: Santa's jelly belly! Some folks who are bound to end up on the naughty list are claiming a fat Santa is not only a bad Santa but also a poor role model for our youth!
"I'm pushing to reduce the size of Santa by 25 percent," said Ernest Berger, president of Santa America, a non-profit that arranges Santa visits for kids in tumultuous home situations.
With an elfish twinkle in his eye, Berger told The Washington Post his good-intentioned group wants its Santa suit-wearing volunteers to be "positive about fitness and wellness and reducing their weight."
Not since the Grinch has there been such a gut-wrenching assault on Kris Kringle and his sackful of extra pounds!
Ho... Ho... Hold Everything!
Yes, a thinner Santa would be a healthier Santa. And losing a few pounds sure would make it easier for the jolly one to shimmy down your chimney.
But Mr. Bad Food can't imagine a slimmed-down Santa come Christmastime. What would his belly shake like -- a bowlful of shredded wheat!?
And what would our wide-eyed kids leave for Santa's snack... skim milk and a couple of carrot sticks? Bah humbug! Carrot sticks are for Rudolph and the other reindeer! Santa needs cookies to keep him fueled with sugar!
OK, so for the sake of argument, let's assume that some of the people pushing for a pared-down Santa are just being silly and shooting for a laugh rather than a real campaign for a slimmed-down Santa.
The Shot Heard 'Round the World
The first volley in this war on Santa's weight came in the spoof "Santa Claus: A Public Health Pariah?" that ran in the recent issue of the British Medical Journal.
The satirical article penned by Australian epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Grills argued that Santa promotes obesity and a general unhealthy lifestyle.
"Santa only needs to affect health by 0.1 percent to damage millions of lives," Grills wrote. The doctor added that Santa better ask himself for an exercise treadmill!
The holiday spoof turned out to be a little too good. Several major news organizations swallowed the joke and regurgitated the "facts" in features like "Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. And he's a public health menace."
Fat is no laughing matter. According to the World Health Organization, 700 million adults will be obese by 2015. We all should know that obesity is linked to scary afflictions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Grills swears he is a Santa Claus lover who is "bewildered - and a bit angry" that his article has gotten so much bad publicity.
I say it's the most wonderful time of the year and we should be focusing on our health and expanding waistlines rather than the big ol' belly of our North Pole purveyor of mirth and happiness.
Let Santa live in pudgy peace!
Author: John McGran