Monday, December 15, 2008

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It's a "Mrs" Clause...


All due respect to the Big Guy with the Red Suit and all, but doesn't it seem like the Santa Clause legend is often like a biopic, where the supportive and loving wife gets shoved into the background? Mrs. Clause has always been there for him. Who do you think keeps the elves happy? Who do you think cooks the North Pole food? Who do you think is in charge of keeping things running smoothly? I know it ain't Hermie.


Fact is, Mrs. Clause just isn't as steeped in tradition as her jolly husband. Santa stories date back to the 12th century, whereas Mrs. Claus was first mentioned in a poem written in 1899 by Katherine Lee Bates -- not to be confused with Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates, although.....

Possible twins

So, what we have here is a holiday figure whose only been known to the public for almost 110 years. I declare shenanigans on this one. Clearly, it's further evidence of media sexism, maybe even a hint of North Pole misogyny. What was Goody Santa Claus up to before Kathy Bates (but not that one) exposed her? If we are to believe the poem, purporting to be the thoughts of the good lady herself, Mrs. Claus fed Santa to keep him fat until Christmas came, where she then begged him annually to allow her to go with him on the sleigh ride.

Sound familiar?

The official biographers of the Clauses, Rankin-Bass Productions, have a different tale to tell. Contrary to popular belief, Mrs. Claus's maiden name is not Mary Christmas (wrong again, Charlie Brown!). Rather, she is a schoolteacher named Jessica.

With back problems, no doubt

She helps Kris Kringle ply his toy trade to unsuspecting children, finally granted eternal life by the Gods so they may continue such work for centuries. It is then that she becomes the mischievous and tyrannical Mrs. Claus of Rudolph fame. Presumably, she has grown tired of his games, for 900 years of living under his enormous shadow must be getting to her by now. Force-feeding him, usurping his powers while he lays ill, sending two gay elves to fly through the Miser Brothers' territory on the back of an infant reindeer; Mrs. Claus got a little nasty.

The face of evil

Perhaps this is why Santa kept her name out of the press for as long as he did. A crazy old woman is one thing, but the First Lady of Christmas? For shame, Mrs. Claus. For shame.

Santa surrounds himself with witnesses, just in case

Of course, it is perfectly possible that she did all these things to get her husband's attention, as is the case in the Angela Lansbury film Mrs. Santa Claus. After all the emotional games she's been playing with him, Mrs. Clause decides to finally throw up her hands, steal a reindeer, and run off to turn-of-the-century New York City, where she gets involved in child labor disputes and woman's suffrage. <a hrec="">I am not making this up</a>.

Always has a weapon, though

Mrs. Clause is now firmly established in the Christmas Legend. Her influence is seen everywhere. She has been the subject of television shows, movies, and musicals.

Also, fantasies

Songs from the New World has a song about her. And, of course, there is the aformentioned Angela Lansbury one. What, you didn't think Angela Lansbury was going to be in a Disney Christmas movie without singing, did you? Schmucks.

I need something challenging to do
Somewhere marvelous to go
He’s seen every little corner of the world
All I’ve ever seen is snow

I’m Mrs. Santa Claus, the invisible wife
And Mrs. Santa Claus needs a change in her life
I’ve been manning the business and planning each holiday plan
And I’m tired of being the shadow behind the great man
For each December when Santa’s checking his list
‘Tis the season that he forgets I exist
So the moment has come to beat my own drum because
I want the world to know there’s a Mrs. Santa Claus!

I’m Mrs. Santa Claus, yes, I’m married to him
And for centuries I’ve been proper and prim
But I’m tired of folding the bedding and spreading the jam
And I feel I’m about to begin to find out who I am
I’ve planned my strategy and my flag is unfurled
For I have gifts of my own to offer the world
So I’m coming your way, keep an eye on my sleigh because
I want the world to know there’s a Mrs. Santa Claus!

So I’m coming your way, keep an eye on my sleigh because
You’ll have a merry Christmas with Mrs. Santa Claus!


Anonymous said...


Walter L. Hollmann said...

you commented!

Unknown said...

I wish i could have a large copy of Sir Christopher Lee holding that cat, i miss him very much i also miss Peter Cushing 2 awesome horror actors that has brought happiness into my life, i love all there films and Christopher has a wonderful dark sensational singing voice. R I P Christopher and Peter until we meet again.

Unknown said...

I always thought the North Pole was phallocentric.