I don’t think most children in Jamaica understand how lucky they are that the man in the white beard, red cap, flying through the air with a sleigh full of gifts for them, is reportedly from one of those cold places near the Arctic Circle, where moving fast is necessary to stop icicles forming on you. He comes on time, no fail, each year. Don’t it? No slouching under the banana tree for Santa. Imagine if the man was a Yardie.
Christmas Eve has arrived. “Rudolph!… Rudolph! Where is that blasted reindeer when you need him?”
“Right here, Santa. You know how it is. I was waiting to bathe, man. But, no water coming through the pipe. I had to go down to the well to fill a bucket. Sorry, sir.”
“Boy, you’re just full of excuses. Hitch up the sleigh and get those packages loaded. I asked you from last week to start that and up till now I don’t see you move an inch. Soon come. Soon come. That’s all I hear. When you going to be ready?”
They start loading presents into the sleigh. Rudolph is still muttering under his breath. “Eediot! Wants me to load up from last week? He forget where we live? You want to see everything chewed up and all over the yard, after the goats come and tear up the boxes? You mad as shad, Santa! Last year, they steal the runners off the sled. Not again!”
Packages piled high, the pair are ready to go. “Where the other reindeer? They still sleeping?”
“Old man, you really losing it, eh. Remember, you laid off the reindeer last year. IMF squeezing everyone hard. Said, you had no need for idle hooves 11 months of the year. Now, it’s just me and you.” Rudolph could barely hide his grin.
“I knew I should have upgraded to a hybrid sleigh,” old Santa chuntered to himself. “Hitch up some of those goats, then, Rude Boy, and let’s see if we can hit the road.”
Midnight bells were just chiming, and the sleigh, laden, was ready to go. Church bells began to chime to signal to start of Christmas Day. Santa looked at his watch and rubbed his beard. “For once, could we leave on time? Why do we always have to be late?” The sleigh rumbled off the hill and picked up speed, with Rudolph huffing, and the goats pulling every which way as they tried to eat some trash blowing past them. Gradually, the craft lifted off the ground. “Where we headed first?” Santa asked Rudolph. “New Zealand. Just follow my nose.” Santa rolled his eyes at the deer. How many times had they done this? Rudoplh’s red nose pointed up and started the glow. Maybe, next year, Santa would make a present to himself of a GPS; this old-fashioned technology was not really the way to go.
The old man leaned back. Behind him, the large loudspeakers began to vibrate and the sounds of the first carols began to boom out. “Joy to the world!” he bellowed. “Christmas is here!”