Click here

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Santa is an alcoholic!

SANTA CLAUS is an alcoholic. That stark pronouncement may make strong men blanch and little children whimper, but every fact at our command points to its truth. Consider the evidence.

Item: This oddly behaved old man has a red nose and a flushed face, and prances around shouting, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” at total strangers. That “Ho! Ho! Ho!” bit is suspicious in itself. As we recall, the complete quotation goes, “Ho! Ho! Ho! and a bottle of rum!” Or something like that. Now why does Santa leave out part of it? Why is he reluctant to mention the rum? We believe it is just an alcoholic’s unwillingness to talk about anything related to a drinking problem.

Item: This chap is unshaven and long-haired, and goes about in an old red suit which is completely out of style. It even has fur on it. Surely, this shows that he has no regard at all for his personal appearance, and also that he apparently doesn’t earn enough to keep himself in respectable attire. (Or is blowing his wages for you-know-what.)

Item: On the subject of money, here is a gent who can’t make ends meet, yet throws away what little he has and goes into hock up to his eyes, besides. Sure, on occasion you and I have bought drinks for the house during a blast, or flowers and toys for the wife and kiddies after one; but this profligate madman hands out goodies to everyone in the world. Only a dyed-in-the-wool alcoholic could toss it away like that.

Item: By all accounts, Santa Claus works only one day a year, which is sort of a record, even for someone on the sauce. There’s been mention of certain elves who are reputed to work for him, but we can’t verify that they exist, nor, if they do, that he pays them anything. Why his business doesn’t go to pot, we’ll never understand–unless it’s Mrs. Claus who holds things together, as the wives of boozers often do. Of course, she may have money in her own name. Anyway, it remains undeniable that December 24 is S. C.’s only workday. What he does the other 364, we leave to your imagination.

Item: Speaking of Mrs. Claus–how come Santa never takes her out? Is it the problem drinker’s typical disregard for the happiness of his family, or does she just refuse to be seen with him in public? There’s something awfully wrong in a household when man and wife never socialize together.

Item: On the topic of work, how does our subject go about it? On those long trips he takes, does he sensibly drive something like a Ford or Chevy van? No, he uses a sleigh drawn by reindeer, of all things. Horses we could understand, if he chooses to cling to the old ways; but only a dipso would dream of dashing across the tundra behind a herd of deer.

And don’t forget this–it’s common knowledge that he’s loaded when he leaves home. When he arrives at a house, does he use the front door, as any moderate two-beer drinker would? No, he climbs down the chimney! Typical alcoholic insanity.

There it is, all spelled out for you, so make your own decision. We’ve made ours. This S. Claus is definitely a candidate for the club. A few kind souls might consider him only a periodic lush, since he seems to hang one on just once a year; but in our own opinion there’s a lot of steady, secret guzzling going on up there at the North Pole, culminating in that mad moonlight jaunt on December 24.

At any rate, you good AAs from Alaska and northern Canada please keep listening for your phone to ring. Somewhere, some time, late at night, a voice may say, “North Pole is on the line. Will you accept a call, collect?”

J. G. T.
Negaunee, Michigan

A Letter from Santa Claus
(Volume 27 Issue 7,December 1970)

Editors AA Grapevine 468 Park Avenue South New York, N.Y. 10016


I’m an easygoing fellow and can take a joke as well as the next guy. I am sensitive about a few things, however, and you hit on one of them in your December 1969 issue. Some nincompoop had the gall to accuse me of alcoholism!

I am not now, nor have I ever been, an alcoholic. You’ll never see me wallowing around in the gutter with those guys. Why, I don’t even take a drink in the morning. Sure, I have a shot now and then with the elves, just a sociable glass–but a lush I’m not. I haven’t been snockered now for, oh, two or three weeks. I wouldn’t have gotten drunk then, either, but Mrs. Claus, got on my nerves. She keeps pestering me about the booze, as if I was some kid who couldn’t handle it. That’s why I don’t take her out often–I have one short one and she’s in a dither. Who wants to put up with that when he’s trying to have a good time? Never thought of that, did you? You guys are always quick to judge, never look at the other side of the coin.

I can take it or leave it alone. Generally, I prefer to take it. Who doesn’t? But when I want to quit, I’ll quit. Up here at the Pole, I have to drink a little now and then. This is a desolate place. Aren’t I entitled to a little cheer? I don’t begrudge anybody else their entertainment.

To be absolutely honest, I’ll admit I have had a bit of trouble in the past. But now I’ve wised up and started to control my drinking. I’ve switched to beer and table wines–you fellows ought to know they’re harmless enough. If the problem should come back, I’ll just clamp down a mite harder. Self-control, that’s what it takes, just like with smoking. I used to smoke a pipe, but I’ve quit. If I can quit smoking, I can quit drinking, right? But for now there’s no need to.

I’ll clue you in on what prevents a good, two-fisted drinker from turning into an alcoholic. A steady job. In spite of what that article said, I get out almost every day and work. Keeps my mind off the liquor. I go over to the elves’ workshop and give them pointers on speeding up production and improving their workmanship. I may have to quit going over there, though, because one or two of the elves act as if a little friendly advice is an insult or something. Maybe I’ll get a hobby instead.

Everyone knows I’m a great guy–not a coward hiding behind a bottle. Don’t I stay up all night making my deliveries to all the tots at Christmastime? Not many people would do that, now would they? No, I’m okay–I’ve got my thinking straight. I don’t need any of you alkies telling me I need help with my drinking.

Just to show you I don’t hold grudges: If you’ll print a public apology for slandering me, I’ll tell my lawyers to go easier on you in court. What’s more, if you loosen up long enough for one good fling, I’ll let you come to the big New Year’s party I’m holding. Bring your own booze, preferably sloe gin or whiskey. It’ll be your last chance to see me drunk, because after New Year’s I’m tapering off and may eventually quit altogether. Who knows?

Santa Claus”
Permission to reprint The AA Grapevine, Inc., copyrighted material in this publication does not in any way imply affiliation with or endorsement by either Alcoholics Anonymous or The AA Grapevine, Inc.

Merry etc etc - Ho, ho, ho – and all that. Have a sober one!


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous …. and Santa Claus)

(our thanks to the AA member for pointing us in the direction of the above)