“Take those flying reindeer, Santa’s red and white color scheme, and his jolly disposition, for example. They are all probably linked to the use of hallucinogenic toad stool in ancient rituals.” —Roger Highfield
‘Twas the night before Christmas of a hazardous year
Santa was safe at home with the clan of Claus
Elves were loading gifts in Santa’s new sleigh
Reindeer were dreaming in their stalls
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
―Clement Clarke Moore
Now Santa’s new sleigh was almost alive
It would deliver the gifts without Santa or deer
The elves contrived its autonomous drive
So the Claus clan could avoid hazard that year
All those poor elves I haven’t set free yet, having to stay over during Christmas because there aren’t enough hats!
―J. K. Rowling
Oh, there was coal in the hold for the haughty
But the sleigh bulged with miraculous freight
The coal was ice for the socks of the naughty
The gifts for the nice were great
There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
Blessings to all at home in peace and content
Came in Santa’s new sleigh as though heaven sent
They were wrapped in gold and redolent
Of frankincense and myrrh
Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.
―Henry David Thoreau
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