‘Twas the Night Before: Chapter 21: Santa Plays Favorites (Tom)
“Boy, Santa’s really into labelling people.”
-Mike Nelson, Santa Claus, MST3K Episode #521
IT’S CHRISTMAS IT’S CHRISTMAS IT’S CHRISTMAS IT’S CHRISTMAS IT’S CHRISTMAS
Well, in the story it’s Christmas. But here in reality, something even better is going on right now:
AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES
So, between that and after-Christmas weather, I didn’t get around to posting yesterday. But since we have only this chapter plus the epilogue left, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be done before New Year’s. 😉
Tom waked up in his apartment on Christmas morning. Remember, last night he wrote his very first grown-up Christmas list:
Some people, when they make grown-up Christmas lists, wish for an end to all wars and for everyone in the world to have a friend.
Tom wishes his fiancee still believed in Santa Claus.
Given that this is the parable of faith, this is not too surprising. After all, I’ve seen RTCs claim that God helped them find their missing keys, because God was apparently not busy ending famine and curing diseases.
In the living room, Tom was met with a sight that made his entire body rigid.
“Noella?? Baby, you shouldn’t be here right now. And where did you find a Naughty Elf costume???”
The tree was beautifully decorated, every inch a stunning masterpiece of color.
That’s what Santa did at Tom’s house: he decorated Tom’s Christmas tree. Because I guess he didn’t have anything more pressing to do.
[Tom] laughed and cried and whooped until he remembered the neighbors and pressed a hand against his mouth.
God Santa! It’s a Christmas miracle! This is SO MUCH BETTER than you bringing toys and clothes to poor children, which is what I thought you should do before I met you!”
This is upsetting, really. Tom is the same guy who, back in Chapter 8, said:
“Kids in the ghetto actually believe Santa is going to bring them something to make their lives all right.”
To which Noella responds:
“If those parents really believed, the outcome would be different.”
So now, not only is Tom okay with the poor kids getting nothing, but he’s okay with the reason they get nothing: because the childrens’ parents don’t believe.
This really is a parable of faith: Tom is behaving exactly as Rayford Steele and Buck Williams in the Left Behind series: even though neither of them believed for DECADES, and would have gone straight to hell had they died then, they immediately find hell to be completely just once they convert.
It’s the classic I’ve Got Mine, Screw You mentality of RTCs.
Another way in which Rayford and Tom are alike: each is presented with much better evidence of the existence of Jesus/Santa than almost everyone else. Rayford, to cite just one example, is visited by the Archangel Michael. Tom got to MEET Santa, visit his workshop, and craft a special Santa necklace (THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT SOON), and now, he gets a letter back from Santa:
Merry Christmas. Enjoy the gift I sent home with you, which seemed only appropriate under the circumstances.
Tom gets all confused, because he doesn’t remember any gift, and the only thing he brought back from Fairyland was the bag with the victims’ belongings that he looted.
So he goes to the Tribune office to check his mail. There he finds a package from the wife of one of the Canadians. She thanks him for his “thoughtfulness” in looting her husband’s corpse, which is pretty nice of her considering that she no doubt would have gotten his wallet back if Tom had just left it alone and not left the crash site.
AND GEE THANKS, JENKINS, I HAD ALMOST FORGOTTEN THAT YOU KILLED OFF THREE FOREIGNERS JUST SO TOM COULD BELIEVE IN SANTY CLAUS.
Oh, and we find out the Canadian’s name: Marcus Kroeker.
I really, REALLY hope that is not a play on the fact that Marcus “croaked” in the plane crash.
I really do.
The wife has sent back something that was not her husband’s:
OMG A PLATINUM PENDANT JUST LIKE NOELLA’S
Except where it’s different:
Instead of “Forever And,” it says “A Day.”
(Sadly, it does not say “A Tree.”)
Also, it has Tom’s birthdate.
Also also, the tree is embossed instead of cut out.
Also also also, it has “KK” (Santa’s initials) on the back.
So, Tom has his Christmas tree decorated by Santa himself, and his letter from Santa, AND his own “Forever and a Tree” necklace.
Sucks to be you, poor kids!