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Christmas stories

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

There are a lot of Santa Claus stories floating around this time of the year, so I hopped on the Internet machine to find a few that may be of interest.

Warning: Children of young age who are anxiously awaiting Santa this year should not read this column. It is meant solely for the consumption of a somewhat older crowd.

There are said to be four stages of Santa in the civilized world: 1) You believe in Santa; 2) you don’t believe in Santa; 3) you are Santa; 4) you look like Santa.

This column is intended for Stage 2 and above. So, all you pre-teens, please stop reading right now and turn to the comics and puzzles. I’ll wait.

Shocking news from New York City, if there is actually anything shocking there. Cops handed out 100 summons and made five arrests at SantaCon annual activities there, which was apparently a too-jolly event.

Cops charged one reveler with assault, one with a weapon possession and three with possession of drugs.

One Santa was hospitalized after being decked by another Santa because the first Santa threw a garbage can at him. (The second Santa said he got mad when the first Santa called him fat.)

This is definitely not setting a very good example for our children, all these Santa wannabees behaving in such a manner. But remember this: Just because they wore red Santa suits didn’t make them Santas. Anyone can buy one of those.

Here is something that should balance out the undesirable Santas.

There is a town in Alaska called North Pole, and it needed a mayor. Who would be the best candidate to represent this town with such a unique name? Why Santa Claus, of course.

Luckily, there lived a man in North Pole whose legal name was Santa Claus. His real name was actually Thomas O’Connor, but he went through the process of changing it legally to Santa Claus, because he was at Stage 4 of our four stages of Santa.

The good people of the North Pole got together on election day and wrote in his name on the ballot. And low and behold, Santa Claus won the election.

He campaigned on helping at-risk children, so he apparently is a pretty nice guy, not anything like those bad Santas in NYC.

But wait a minute. Here is a news story about St. Nicholas, who lived in Third Century Turkey, when he was a little younger and perhaps not all that good himself.

“An archaeologist who dug up his bones in 2005 found that Nicholas had a broken nose, perhaps a result of the persistent persecution of Christians around that time, said Adam C. English, author of “The Saint Who Would be Santa Claus, '" wrote CNN.

But according to legend, Nicholas went to a 325 Council of Bicea meeting and punched a heretic in the nose, and the heretic punched back.

He then calmed down and started giving gifts and protecting children. We all have some skeletons in our closets, so why should this be so surprising? He still made Bishop and was sainted, so all’s well that ends well.

More interesting Santa stories:

• Residents in North Pole, Alaska, can now put pot on their Christmas list, since marijuana is now legal in that state and the North Pole City Council has rejected a measure to ban dispensaries.

• In Detroit, a man dressed as Santa Claus shot two other guys after an argument over Santa’s girlfriend - Mrs. Claus? The victims are expected to recover. Santa was chased for several blocks before being apprehended right before he reached his sleigh – I mean car.

• A man dressed like an elf was found passed out behind the wheel of a car in the parking lot of Target in Riverdale, N.J. When officers woke him up, he was confused about his location and smelled of booze. He was arrested for DWI. It is unknown whether he called his boss to get bailed out.

• It looks like another Santa Claus may be on the naughty list this year: A man who played St. Nick at a Massachusetts mall has been barred from the shopping center after he was charged with groping an 18-year-old woman playing an elf. He was released on $1,000 bond.

• Ho ho ... humbug? A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy, and wouldn’t even let one child sit on his lap.

Enough already about bad Santas.

• A Michigan mom’s Facebook post is taking the Internet by storm after she thanked Santa Claus for his kind words to her son with autism during their Dec. 4 visit to take holiday photos at the mall.

“I thought he did a wonderful job, and this man needs to be recognized,” Naomi Johnson of Muskegon, Michigan told ABC News. “I have had so much positive reaction, and people from families with children with autism thanking me sharing their story, giving them hope that they can take their children out and be accepted.

• At a British mall, a little girl sat in Santa’s lap, and her mom said that the child had a hard time talking. Santa asked if she could sign, which she could, and they started discussing what she wanted for Christmas.

The girl’s visit to Santa was her first, and the toddler’s mom wasn’t sure how it might turn out because of the language barrier.

“The little girl herself was over the moon. Her face lit up as she got off the stage,” said the mall manager. “It was really one of those special Christmas moments that captured everyone’s imagination.”

And, with that story, I wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas.