By PETTUS READ
Christmas out on the Read All About It Farm continues to be a favorite holiday and one that seems to cause me to enjoy some great memories of Christmases from the past.
I have had the opportunity to write articles containing some of those memories during this special season over the years and am continually being asked to repeat some that have become many of my reader’s favorites. I’m sure they will never become anything like Francis Pharcellus Church’s editorial that appeared in the September 20, 1897 edition of the “New York Sun” which included the famous reply, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," but I do enjoy sharing these great times of my life each year at this time with my readers.
One article in particular that gets repeated back to me often is the one I did that compared Santy Claus to a farmer and I thought I would repeat it here. And yes, I do use the term Santy because that is what Gene Autry also said in his song, “Here Comes Santy Claus,” and Gene was always right because he did things the “cowboy way.”
As Christmas rapidly approaches, the mystery about the fat man in the red suit with the long beard continues to intensify. Questions abound about this man who comes to your place at night and enters your home without even the benefit of a key.
Who is he? Where does he really live? Is there a Mrs. Claus and was she attracted to his cheeks so rosy or his nose like a cherry? What does he do during the off-season? And the greatest question of all is how does he eat all of those burnt cookies, drink hot milk and still be able to travel without the benefit of Nexium?
Santy Claus has always held a special spot in my childish thoughts due to the fact that he is so mysterious. Let’s face it, all of us have been taken aback by his ability to do what he does and not hold down a regular job. He wears fur, owns flying deer, and spends time with a bunch of little guys who have pointy ears. If that is not mysterious and somewhat on the strange side, well then I will just have to believe that Elvis is still alive and cooking banana and peanut butter sandwiches up North.
I have been doing somewhat of a study on Mr. Claus and I have come to the conclusion that he is a farmer during his off time from flying around the world giving out toys. He has the same MO (that is investigation talk for method of operation) as a farmer and when you really think about it, he does wear boots somewhat like a farmer.
Just like a farmer, he works all year on a commodity and at the end of the year he gives it all away and starts all over again for next year. His job and final delivery depend greatly on the weather and he has to keep his livestock in good shape to see him through the year to get the job done.
Another thing I have noticed, just like a farmer, he has to have outside labor to get his product ready for final delivery. I wonder if Santy has the same problems farmers have with migrant labor laws? Of course, when working with elves you may have “smaller” requirements.
Santy Claus also has the same characteristics as a farmer of being loved by children. Kids love animals and both Santy and farmers have the market cornered on providing lovable and cuddly animals. I have never seen a child that didn’t enjoy a trip to the barn or a visit to the farm. They both have a good rapport with the small ones and will stop whatever they are doing to honor a child’s request.
Both individuals spend a lot of late nights out with their livestock. Santy takes his out for flight training, but a farmer is usually feeding, nursing them back to health, delivering a calf or getting a few head of cows back in the lot after someone runs through his fence in the middle of the night.
Farmers and Santy both work late hours, enjoy good food, frequent the malls annually, and have the public’s perception that they can perform miracles with little or no return.
Yep. Santy and farmers are one in the same. They work hard, are appreciated annually, love the colors red and green (farmers especially like farm equipment in these colors), and have the ability to Ho, Ho, Ho during tough times.
Thanks Santy and Tennessee farmers for making our holidays bright. I don’t know what we would do without you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Pettus L. Read writes for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.
He may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org