Santa: Jesus Christ!
Jesus: Are you cussin’ or just glad to see me?
Santa: (hugs Jesus and pulls back) I almost didn’t recognize you.
Jesus: That’s because I’m traveling S. I.
Santa: S. I.?
Jesus: (smiling) Savior Incognito. So good to see you, old man.
Santa: Yeah, that’s interesting, because I supposedly have gained immortality, but they’ve stuck me at about seventy-five years of age.
Jesus: Well, I died at thirty-three–that’s where I’m kind of stuck, except I didn’t exactly leave behind a pretty corpse.
Santa: (frowning) Sorry about that.
Jesus: Oh, lighten up, old man. It’s Christmas. We’ll get around to that Easter stuff later.
Santa: Well, what brings you to this mall on this day?
Jesus: I was about to ask you the same question.
Santa: Well, there are so many people dressing up like me now, that it’s easy for me to slip in, as you say, incognito, and play myself at a mall. No one knows the difference.
Jesus: So why this mall?
Santa: The best damn curly fries at the food court. I’m tellin’ you, you’ve got to try them. They’re to die for.
Jesus: Was that another crack at my crucifixion?
Santa: Oh, I’m sorry…
Jesus: (punching him in the arm) Just kidding! You’ve gotta lighten up!
Santa: Well, there’s a lot of pressure. This time of year, you run into this “Christmas war” thing–you know, where you and I are supposed to be enemies. You representing the “true meaning of Christmas” and me being a commercial bungler.
Jesus: Well, don’t people know that you’re real name is Saint Nicholas?
Santa: I’ve always been your greatest fan. I watched what you did with children, learned from how you gave to people. And I took it seriously when you said in your Beatitudes, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.”
Jesus: And you even copied my twelve elves!
Santa: (a bit flustered) Well… Not exactly.
Jesus: Well, sometimes they acted like elves. You see, people like to keep you where they found you. Lots of folks met me in church so they think I live there. (whispering) Honest to God, Claus–I haven’t been there for years.
Santa: You’re right. Because with me, they loved the Old North Pole thing. Obviously couldn’t do all the work in one location. I have it spread all over the globe. Every once in a while, I even use Amazon.
Jesus: If people just understood that there’s no bad way to say Christmas. It’s kind of like the word “candy.” You can substitute “chocolate, peanut butter, confection, caramel”–and still, what comes to your mind is…
Santa: (interrupting) …candy. You’re right! You can say “reindeer, Christmas tree, carols, jingle bells or manger.” What comes to my mind is Christmas.
Jesus: So they can call it a holiday. That doesn’t help them. Because the word “holiday” means “holy day.” They can say “Season’s Greetings,” but everybody knows the season is Christmas.
Santa: People just fuss too much.
Jesus: I’d say “amen” but I’m not that religious.
Santa: You really aren’t, are you?
Jesus: Nope–I just love people. I love my Father, I love Mother Nature and I love the idea of life. You know I was born in a barn…
Santa: (laughing) That’s funny.
Jesus: (serious) What’s funny about it? You live in a toy shop with reindeer.
Santa: (serious) Well, I didn’t want to argue with you.
Jesus: (laughing) You really are uptight about this Christmas thing, aren’t you? Tell you what–let’s head off to the food court and you can buy me some of those curly fries and prove to me that they’re the best in the world.
Santa: That’s a deal–if you’ll tell me about the first Christmas.
Jesus: Well, I was just a little baby surrounded by asses.
(Santa is shocked)
Jesus: (poking him in the arm) You know–donkeys. Listen, old man–we’d better hurry and get those curly fries right now. You are desperately in need of some good cheer.
Published by Jonathan Cring