‘Twas the Night Before: Chapters 16-17: More Santa



Yesterday, I failed to address the why of how Noella got her necklace, despite being the only true believer in Santa.

Here it is, from Santa’s bedside conversation with Tom:

“If you gave Noella the necklace, you visited a home where not everyone believed in you.”

“She was the only one who did.  How did I justify? … She was old enough to decide for herself, and she chose to believe.  Further, her request was not for herself.  That is the criterion.”

So, there we have it.  Make a selfless wish, and Santa will break his rule.

Kinda sucks for the poor kids that they are quite likely to make wishes for themselves, isn’t it?  Helps when you’re an upper-middle class kid like Noella, who knows she will get everything she wants anyway and can afford to wish for someone else.

To hell with those selfish jerk kids who wish for food and books and shoes without holes.  Too bad for them if their parents don’t believe!

Anyway, sorry for accidentally leaving that out yesterday!

(Still, it was interesting to read your various theories on what was really happening.  Beats Santa’s lame excuse.)


In Chicago, Noella is all alone in her apartment.  She has just learned about the plane crash, and in her own little personal crisis of Santa-faith, has decided to adopt Tom’s “cynicism“:

He had been right.  Life was not fair.  Things did not always turn out the way they should.  Noella would never again be so naive.  It was time to grow up.

That seems to me to be two different things.  Yeah, being grown up is accepting that things aren’t fair.  But that’s not cynicism.

Noella extended her arms and longed to draw them back with Tom in their embrace.

And oh, how she wished that his strong, manly arms would hold her back.  She remembered the way his dark, cynical brows arched arrogantly as he moved in to claim her naive, manipulative lips for a kiss.

Yeah, I think Noella will be fine.


Tom is awake again, and has been fitted with a crutch.

It fitted as if ithad been made for him.  It had, [Mrs. Claus].  “The helpers measured you in the night.”

Oh, wow.

The Claus Clan has also given Tom a bag for the personal effects he inexplicably lifted from the bodies of the dead pilot and passengers.

[Tom] found everything in order.

Phew.  And here I was afraid the elves might’ve swiped his stuff.

Mrs. Claus feeds him, but hasn’t laced the food this time, so Tom stay awake and hobbles off to Santa’s sweatshop.

The miniature men scurried about, filling wheelbarrows from wagons and pushing them into the workshop through a side entrance.

Yeah, Fairyland is an awesome place.  I guess some Fairyland creatures are more equal than others.

“Surprised?” Kris said, wokring in half the uniform Tom assumed he wore Christmas Eve: shiny black boots, red satin pants held up by wide red suspenders, and a white undershirt.

“Even Santa sweats, he said.


Tom is surprised, but not because of the Santa Sweat.  (Santa Sweat would be a cool name for a band.)  He is surprised because there aren’t any toys in the workshop, only the equipment used to make the platinum necklaces like the one Noella owns.

Jenkins describes and describes the making of the necklaces, and it’s fairly boring because I don’t care.

Tom, naturally enough, has more pressing questions:

“You’re making so many.  Why don’t more people have them?”

“We make thousands.  There are billions of you.  And don’t assume you are the only dimension that exists.  You know now there are at least two.  Trust me, there are more.”

“More dimensions?”

“Not to mentions planets.”

“You mean?”

“Rule out nothing.”


Consider my mind officially blown.

But that’s it for the science-y talk.  Time to make some shit!

The necklaces come in one of two ways: either with a tree cut out, like Noella’s, or with a tree embossed.  Santa lets Tom make a necklace–or at least, cut one out before Santa writes on it.  Then he stamps Tom’s initials, T.D., on the back.

Yanno, if I was a Genuine Really Real Believer in Santa, and got one of these special necklaces for Christmas, I’d feel a bit cheated if I found out it had actually been made by some slob from Chicago.

Tom wonders why some necklaces have the cutout, and some the embossing.  Santa calls it “a Fairyland mystery.”


Santa has already spent hours making these.  He doesn’t appear to be making anything else.

I guess that’s not surprising, since Santa refuses to visit homes where even one person is a nonbeliever in him.  He’s probably had to make maybe two toys in…ever.

Tom wants to ask Santa more questions, but Santa is having none of it:

“You’re not coming back to the house?”

“Sorry,” Kris said.  “More work to do.  And you need your rest.”

Tom was suddenly so sleepy he could hardly speak.


Man, Tom has the worst luck ever when it comes to relationships with manipulative people.

Speaking of whom, more on Noella tomorrow.






Posted on December 22, 2011, in Books, Christmas, Twas the Night Before. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Oh, Jenkins. What a hot mess you have made! Tiny Tom hobbling around (“Cthulhu bless us, every one!”). Santa in a wife beater making NECKLACES of platinum (wtf?!) instead of toys. Creepy night-elves slipping in to measure your unconcious body . . . yeugh, anyone else feel the need to find a trusted adult after that image?

    Jenkins’ multiverse is a pleasant surprise, or would be, if I could surpress the suspicion that Jenkins believes all sentient beings in all dimensions on all planets need to accept Jesus Christ as their saviour regardless of species or situation regarding Original Sin. (Now THERE’S a theological debate!)

    Lemme guess: the cut out trees are for the Really Truly Christia — I mean, Believers in Santa, the ones who believe because they have not seen. Insert some symbolic shit about belief being part of their make-up, not something that was added to them later. And the embossed trees are for those Doubtin’ Thomases (see how clever I am?! See?! See?!?) who believe because they have seen . . . cue insertion of symbolic shit about belief being added to their make-up like an embossment. seen —

  2. So Santa is potentially from beyond space and/or time, since he can visit any planet in the multiverse. The idea that he’s a Great Old One seems more and more plausible. 😛

    Also, uh, what’s to believe in about this Santa? He doesn’t make or bring toys, only necklaces for true believers. So…if you believe you get a necklace. If you don’t, you get nothing. Fair enough. But if only believers get necklaces then how did this start? Why do people think he does bring toys? Why does a once-in-a-lifetime necklace dispenser require belief, anyways?

  3. There is so much screwed up with this I can’t even… ARGLBARGLEBLARGLE. What in holy hell!? GDwarf raises good points, but if this is supposed to be a stand in for Christianity and not, say, worship of the Great Old Ones (which would make more sense), there are even bigger problems. This is not in any way shape or form how Christianity works, nor does it map onto it as an allegory. I know this and I’m an agnostic raised by atheists!

    That’s it, I’m for drinking. Who’s with me?

  4. Wait, what… so if Sandy Claws here is given the shape of whatever the viewer imagines them to be, why are these pendants _all_ in the form of a very late addition to Christian tradition that started as secular practice, or if you squint it a bit maybe from a Roman practice of decorating houses with boughs (not trees) for Saturnalia? Or am I using logic again?

  5. “The Claus Clan has also given Tom a bag for the personal effects he inexplicably lifted from the bodies of the dead pilot and passengers”
    Was any reason given for Tom looting the bodies? There’s just no reason for it that I can see, beyond a desire to get his hands on some shiny stuff, of course. But Tom’s the hero, and Jenkins’ heroes don’t do Bad Things. Such as stealing from corpses.

    • The reason given was that Tom wants to return the stuff to the families.

      This is ridiculous for a number of reasons, mostly because the plane will no doubt be found in short order. (Hell, they already know about the crash back in Chicago!).

      The bag of lotted items will become Important Later, but in a way that could have been handled any number of other ways.

      As numerous people have pointed out, the best way to do this whole half of the book would have been for Tom’s car to go off the road. Then there is no Horribly Mangled Death of Innocents, and he can still go visit Santa.

      But, as we all know, Jenkins=planes.

      • If Chicago knows about the plane crash, ten to one it and the bodies have also already been found. Leaving rescuers to wonder where Tom went and why he took the personal effects of the dead guys before going.

        He’s now suspected of being an anti-printing-press terrorist and is being hunted by INTERPOL.

  6. Maybe Tom played a lot of computer games. If there’s one thing I learned from that, it’s loot the corpses for usefull stuff. Usefull stuff being defined as anything you can pick up, except in games like Elder Scrolls where it’s better to leave the items with a poor price-to-weight ratio.

    Huh, it suddenly sounds less bad if you don’t get your presents, if all Santa ever gets you is a piece of jewelery. Then again, if you can sell the platinum off every year… Ka-Fucking-Ching.

  7. A very RTC view of the multiverse – yeah, it’s out there, but right here is where things happen.

    As for the Fairyland Mystery: hey, everything comes down to Freudian symbolism in the end…

  8. I love your idea about the necklaces, Grammar Police, but I have the sneaking suspicion that Jenkins won’t even have gone that in-depth. My guess is it’s something along the lines of one person gets a cut-out tree, while their true love gets an embossed tree, and they fit together perfectly to show that they’re meant for each other.

    What I still can’t quite get, though, is why belief in Santa actually matters. As people have pointed out, maybe Santa will bring you presents at some time or another, or as we’ve just found out now, maybe a necklace once in your life, but this is supposed to be an allegory for Christianity, where whether or not you believe today has eternal consequences. Belief in Santa seems more like believing in the existence of Mount Everest – yes, it’s real, and if you don’t believe it’s real you’ll never get a chance to visit it, but even if you believe that it is real, you’ll probably still never get a chance to visit, and it’s not like any of it really changes anything anyway. Does Noella live her life differently because she believes in Santa? Does she try to follow his example by giving anonymous Christmas gifts to the poor every year? Does she have faith that even when bad things happen in the world, Santa still cares and one day will make all things right? Does she try to love people just the way they are, knowing Santa loves all people equally, not manipulating them into behaving the way she wants? (Oh, I forgot. Santa only loves those people who believe he’s real, along with every single person who lives in their house. Good luck, homeless people living in shelters! You’re on your own!) As an allegory, this *seriously* doesn’t work.

    • You’re probably right about the interlocking tree, Heather. I forgot this is Jenkins’s failed attempt porn . . . ishness.

    • Oh, the allegory works fine. Don’t believe in Jesus and willingly associate yourself with people who don’t, you’re shit outta luck. Of course a man with a petty God makes a Santa that’s just as petty.

      Coming off working a Toys for Tots handout, this rankles me more than it should.

  9. Heather, the fitting-together was certainly my Freudian thought…

    The RTCs seem to be living in a very transactional universe – it’s a mode of thought I associate with the nineteenth century and the vision of the universe as a Great Machine. Do this, that happens; bow down and worship God|Santa, and you live forever in heaven|get a neat necklace. Your own attitude doesn’t really matter as long as you say the magic words…

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