Christmas Eve 2018 – According to an app on my smart phone, Santa Claus is currently zooming on his sleigh over the Middle East. In a fairly unremarkable coincidence, the domain where the yuletide story began over two thousand winters ago.
On witnessing the progress of St Nicholas’ sleigh ride, I felt thankful the app was tracking tonight’s global odyssey by the jolly red faced guy above Asia. And, for the sake of our children’s gift expectations, not covering the tracks of the drunken guy in a Santa suit, who’d I’d earlier witnessed staggering away from a pub on Boar Lane, Leeds.
Watching this chap stumble along this street of impressive Georgian buildings, it struck me I’d witnessed a coincidental parallel to the Christmas Story. That being, akin to Joseph on that fateful Bethlehem evening two thousand years ago, the Father Christmas wannabe was also refused entry to an inn on 24th December.
Unlike the stepfather of Christ, though, the inebriated Leeds santa wasn’t declined entry as a consequence of insufficient room at the inn for his brood. The red suited one instead refused access for being heavily intoxicated and wearing sandals.
I know Joseph would also have been wearing sandals back then. However, I’d venture back then there wouldn’t have been dress codes in Bethlehem ale houses.
Obviously, I can’t say with any certainty that the innkeeper did or didn’t impose a set of dictums ensuring his patrons dressed appropriately. However, even if he did surely banning sandals in a 1BC public house, in a place where everyone wore them, would’ve been a foolhardy marketing strategy.
Did the pickled Santa on Boar Lane and the Christmas Story bear any further parallels?
Well, apart from none of the participants in either story being able to converse in comprehensive English, probably not. Although, with the buses stopping at 8pm this evening the St Nick wannabe may, like the heavily pregnant mother of Christ, have to rely on donkey travel – Especially if he doesn’t want to pay through his ass for a taxi.
That’s where the similarities in tale concluded. After all, I’d venture during the greatest story ever told none of it participants went for a McDonalds to satisfy a alcohol fuelled hunger. Additionally, I suspect Joseph, Mary, the Three Kings and the Shepherds didn’t ‘entertain’ passers-by to a drunken (or indeed any) version of rock band Oasis’ 1990’s hit Wonderwall.
I’ve been home a while now. My current Christmas Eve itinerary incorporating the watching of a choir singing carols on TV and a chilled glass of pinot grigio wine. In comparison to the drunken Father Christmas I witnessed earlier, an understated but respectful celebration of Jesus’s birthday.
How will this bloke feel on Christmas morning?…… I’d proffer he’d have a worse headache than me, along with potentially worse chafing of the thighs if he had to ride the donkey home.
However, on the plus side, I suspect he’ll feel far more refreshed and less G-force damaged than the Santa who’d hurtled around the globe at 100,000’s mph – All done while being stalked on mobile santa app….. Poor chap.