Ottawa
3 min

A very queer Christmas

Queering the holiday's foundational text

In case you’ve been living under a rock for last two months, and have missed the snow, decorations and subliminal messages carefully planted in advertisements to entice you to shop, it’s almost Christmas. Christmas specials are all over television, Christmas lights sparkle on Parliament Hill and the city is besieged by hundreds of surly shoppers, running up insane bills on their credit cards.

It occurred to me, recently, how much Christmas is a heteronormative holiday — it’s just assumed everyone has families and kids and houses with white picket fences, especially in Christmas specials and common literature. Christmas, originally a Christian celebration but more recently marketed for mass, non-denomination consumption as “The Holidays,” just doesn’t really seem to want to include the queer community.

Taking this into consideration, I decided, I was just going to have to change that. Starting with Christmas’s foundational text.

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the town
Few queers were stirring
As the parties wound down.
Our fishnet stockings hung
By the furnace with care
In hopes that Saint Nick
Soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of x-boxes and ipods danced in their heads
And ma in her lace nightie
And I in my nightgown
Had just settled in for a good Christmas snuggle
When out on the lawn their arose such a clatter
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter!
Away to our window we flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
The street lights on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below
When, to our wondering eyes should appear

A miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver so lively and quick!
We knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick!
More rapid than soccer moms at a Sears one-day sale
His coursers they came,
He whistled and shouted and called them by name!
“Now Dasher now Dancer now Prancer now Vixen
On Comet on Cupid on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the duplex! To the top of the mall!
Now dash away dash away dash away all!”
As fast as that straight boy raced away in the snow
When he accidentally stumbled upon our Christmas drag show
Up to the roof tops the reindeer they flew
With a sleigh full of toys and Saint Nicholas too!

And then, with a twinkle, we heard on our roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof
We stood hand in hand and turning around
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound!
He was all dressed in faux fur from his head to his foot
And his cloths were all tarnished with smog and with soot
A Gucci bag full of toys he had thrown on his back
As Santa we assumed he could afford stuff like that
His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry
His cheeks were roses, his nose a cocktail cherry!
His droll little mouth wrapped up like a bow
Like on the tights of a dancer at a gay go-go show
He was smoking a pipe, he looked rather crass
And the smoke from it smelled like very good grass
He had a broad face and round chunky butt
For a fellow who works but once a year
you’d think he’d have time to work off his gut!
He was chubby and plump, a really jolly old elf
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
He turned and blinked twice when he saw us
And with a jump and a cuss
“Holy crap!” he exclaimed, like he’d seen a mouse
“What’s this here? There’s queers in this house!”

A moment and pause, he scratched his white chin
“Oh well, I suppose I’ve nothing to fear
You ladies seem nicer than the straight folks I’ve seen this year
This is a modern time, after all, I can see
So if you ladies shack up that’s just fine with me!
After all, what can I say
When Prancer and Rudolph, my favourite reindeer, are gay!”

So we spoke not a word and he went on with his work
He filled our kids stockings and turned with a jerk
He left an X-box for Billy and an iPod for Sue
And left Ma and I some ” toys” under our own bed too!
“There you are, my dear ladies,” he said with a wink
Old Saint Nick had left us some interesting kink!
And laying a finger on the side of his nose
He gave a quick nod and up the chimney he rose,
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
And away they all flew like an American missile.
But we heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“A Queer Christmas to all, and to all a Queer night!”

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)