In an article on Yahoo News on Friday, October 26, it was reported that a Vancouver, Canada publisher has released an edited version of the famous 1822 poem about Santa Claus, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
In the poem, St. Nick is described as having a “stump of pipe he held tight in his teeth/And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.”
Santa is pictured smoking his pipe in many children’s books over the ages and was even used by tobacco companies to promote their products in a number of old pinup ads.
We’re all aware of the dangers of smoking tobacco cigarettes, with hundreds of dangerous chemicals that result in poor health and often leading to heart disease and cancer, but author Pamela McColl decided to go a step further and take on a project to make a “kid-friendly” version of the famous Clement Clarke Moore poem by removing any references to smoking.
While Santa could probably use an entire health makeover including losing his big belly and even attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, changing his image through censorship seems to go more than a little too far.
Author McColl, and the many others like her, believe children should be sheltered and not exposed to anything that could be potentially considered “bad” for them. This is also the reasoning behind bans on electronic cigarettes in some places.
In the Yahoo article it was also noted by The National Coalition Against Censorship that “putting children in an insulation bubble, hoping to protect them from anything their parents may deem harmful, is not only impossible, it is unproductive.”
While the idea of changing stories related to Santa in order to be politically correct seems a little absurd, perhaps if they’re going to do so they could at least help him out a little by allowing him to transition with e-cigs first.