‘Twas The Night Before…Censorship of The Most Beloved Christmas Poem

Hi Readers! I hope you will run and hide any copies you might have of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” a poem that has apparently been corrupting young minds — and lungs — sinc3 1822.  You’ll recall that in the poem, St. Nick is not without his vices:  ”The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.” 

That’s right — Santa’s a smoker. Thank goodness a new version is coming out this year that will stem the tide of children drawn, zombie like, to that ever-more-popular hobby, pipe-smoking, because that’s the kind of pull this poem has on them! According to the website Market Watch:

Canadian publisher Pamela McColl was compelled to edit the most famous poem in the English language in the interest of protecting young readers. “Exposure to the depiction of Santa smoking a pipe cannot be good,” says the single title small press publisher. Santa has been smoking in Clement C. Moore’s holiday poem New York Times Bestselling Twas The Night Before Christmas for 189 years and McColl says it’s time readers had an alternate version. Parents agree and are opting for a smoke-free Santa for Christmas 2012.

McColl adds that the intent of this edit was to secure the future of this popular poem and not to see it cast aside for being at odds with the needs of children. Parents tell of children worrying about Santa’s health due to smoking and of ripping out specific pages to avoid children being exposed to the tobacco imagery and verse.

Yes, it so much healthier for children’s psyches to see their frantic parents tearing pages out of beloved books. But apparently that’s what this publisher — who does sound pretty minor — believes we must do. And I guess she expects to find a market because OUR kids (versus all the other generations since 1822) are THE most vulnerable in history. One two-line glimpse of Santa’s wicked ways   and their future is a dark one indeed.

And we haven’t even TALKED about Santa’s obesity problem. – L.

McCall Magazine, Night Before Xmas by George Eastman House

I’ll bet that girl ended up a pipe fiend!

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