North Pole News: Holiday song dispute and reindeer rights

rick-jacobs-mugshot-2017This week I’ve decided to stray slightly from the usual theme of this column and revive a popular annual tradition from years ago. I bring you the 2017 edition of:

“News from the North Pole!”

The official list of “That’s Not a Christmas Song” – otherwise known as T-NACS – was released recently, and committee head Ima Scrooge (unrelated to Ebenezer) said, “It’s been a long time coming!”

The problem, according to Scrooge, is radio.

“It was unavoidable,” Scrooge explained, “what with radio stations playing non-stop Christmas music earlier and earlier every year. Dern near as soon as the Halloween costumes are put away, bam! 24-7 of nothin’ but Christmas songs.”

Or are they?

“A lot of ’em ain’t!” she said, “and that’s why we put together this list. Somethin’ had to be done!”

Number one on the T-NACS chart?

“Favorite Things!” exclaimed Scrooge, “from the Sound of Music. I mean, who in tarnation decided that was a Christmas song? Not even close! Ain’t a single mention of Christmas in it. Or Santa, or Jesus or anything else.”

Others on the list include, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Walking In a Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve, and, believe it or not, Jingle Bells.

“Yes, Jingle Bells,” said Scrooge. “It’s a song about ridin’ in a one-horse open sleigh. Seriously, you can dash through the snow in January and February, long after Christmas is over! Who decided it was a Christmas song?

“And just what in tarnation is a sleighing song anyway?”

In other news, Santa recently released his list of the lucky reindeer who will be gliding his sleigh around the world this year on Christmas Eve. Not surprisingly, Rudolph was picked for the lead.

And that, according to some of the team, just isn’t completely fair.

“It’s that nose of his,” grumbled Dancer. “I mean, he saves one lousy Christmas with that blasted foglight he was born with, and instantly he’s Santa’s pet for life. The rest of us don’t stand a chance.”

Rudolph doesn’t agree.

“These are the same ones who were making fun of me, calling me names and not letting me play in any of the reindeer games. But did you hear any of them volunteering to take the lead when that London fog rolled in in ’62? I’m telling you, the silence then was deafening.”

Santa’s comments on the controversy were to the point.

“It’s my decision, and mine alone. Rudolph’s in front. If the others don’t like it they can stay home. If the children on my route behaved like this, they’d be getting coal in their stockings for sure.”

The Grinch will finally be celebrating Christmas a free man this year since the Whoville parole board decided he had done enough time and had learned his lesson.

“He’s an old man now,” said board member Randy Boo Who, who said he felt good about his decision to set the Grinch free. “I mean, he can barely get around. Sure, I realize he broke into every house in Whoville and stole all the presents, and he loaded up his dog with a massive dose of steroids, but decades in prison will change anyone, even the Grinch.

“Besides, he’s not too much longer for this world. That oversized heart of his could go anytime now. Let the man live what time he’s got left in peace.”

Cindy Lou Who, now 53, wasn’t so quick to forgive.

“As long as I live, I will never forget that night,” she said when told the news. “I was traumatized. I mean, I was a little girl, and he lied to me. I haven’t trusted men since.”

When asked what she would say to the parole board, she said, “Why, parole board? Why? Why are you letting the Grinch go free?”

Finally, Mayor Keith McDonald was proud to announce once again that Bartlett is in the finals for the coveted “World’s Best Kids” award in 2017. Should Bartlett win – and most experts agree it’s in the bag – it would be a record 23rd year in a row.

“I’m not surprised at all,” said a smiling Mayor McDonald. “In fact, I expected it. I imagine Santa will be delivering a lot of toys to the children of Bartlett, Tennessee, this year. They truly are the best kids in the world!”

Merry Christmas everyone!

From my wife, Susie, and our grandchildren, Izzy and Caleb.

And especially from myself. May your Christmas be joyous and blessed and your New Year be happy and prosperous.

Many more “Starting Over” columns to come in 2018!

RICK JACOBS is a local author, columnist, process server and family man who lives in Bartlett with his wife and grandchildren. Contact him at