A global-warming Christmas

Dateline North Pole—September 20, 2007—In light of global warming, new holiday traditions are being put into place this year. The guidelines will mean adjustments for both children and adults in the Sacramento area. Santa Claus, executive director of the North Pole, announced the changes from a soggy, green patch of lawn in the Arctic Circle today.

“As you can see, our work area is being inundated by water, sunshine and plant-life. Since our operations peak in mid-winter, we’ve had to make several workplace modifications, including ceiling fans, cooler uniforms, visors and mandatory sunscreen for the elves,” he said.

Due to the environmental shift, reindeer have multiplied dramatically and grown in size. Donner and Blitzen have each sired six fawns this season. But the team’s overall weight increase has lead to sluggishness. This year, 12 reindeer will be pulling, rather than eight. New members include Carbon, Cyclone, Vesuvius and Kiroshio. Rudolph is on sabbatical, using his self-illuminating nose to guide polar bears across the now fully melted Northwest Passage.

Children may be surprised by the new merit system for Christmas gifts. Santa will make his list, but check it thrice, not twice. The accreditation of “nice” is now based on recycling, conserving water and turning off lights. Coal, which had formerly been put in the shoes of the “naughty” kids, is now politically incorrect. Starting this year, “naughty” kids will be punished by having air-conditioning privileges revoked.

Because chimneys have been discontinued over the globe, Santa will enter through patio doors, so he can take a quick dip in the pool prior to his next stop. Kids will now set out fresh fruit and lemonade for Mr. Kringle.

If the Earth warms up as much as expected, Sacramentans can expect some local changes to their holiday festivities. Trips to the Sierra will become mudslides, not sled rides. Tree trimming will be replaced by stringing lights on potted palms. Fried rattlesnake and margaritas will become the holiday feast of choice, as turkeys will have all migrated to the Canadian Rockies. If residents relinquish their SUVs and complete wildlife sensitivity training, they will receive a solar-powered jet ski for transportation around the metro area.

Finally, caroling will be modified accordingly. Here are the updated lyrics to “Holly, Jolly Christmas”:

“Have a global warming Christmas, it’s a hot time on the Earth. Say ‘hell no’ to chains and snow, let flip-flops bring you mirth. Have a global warming Christmas, the ocean’s on the rise. Storms are bigger and you’re the trigger, it comes as no surprise. Oh, ho, the ice caps gone, the Delta’s in the sea. Folsom’s now a beachfront town, and firewood goes for free. Have a global warming Christmas, and in case you didn’t hear. Oh, by golly, your parka’s folly on Christmas this year!”