Greg Lewis: Santa’s stop in Aspen can be a little difficult
Santa loves delivering gifts to Aspen.
The pluses are obvious.
Easy sleigh landing, is a case in point. In some Aspen neighborhoods, rooftops are longer than aircraft carriers.
Gifts are often light in weight and come in small boxes — watches and jewelry, for example. Earrings worth more than the GDP of Iceland take up no space at all.
Treats left for Santa are scrumptious. Forget cookies and milk. How about caviar — aged and wild, from the Caspian Sea — with ultra-pricey Russian vodka! (Note: there may be a shortage this year. Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into it.)
Then there are those gifts that are almost impossible to deliver.
Last year, Santa struggled for hours to load a Gulfstream GVI onto his sleigh before deciding to just put the sleigh and reindeer inside the jet. Rudolph appreciated the time off, had an in-flight cocktail and got lit up.
One Christmas Santa had so many fur coats to deliver to Aspen homes it was impossible to pack them all into his sack. (Even Goldman Sachs could not have handled the order.) So Prancer and Dancer and the rest of the team all slipped into a fur coat or two, before taking off for Aspen. Warmest flight ever from the North Pole, Blitzen said. And why not wear the furs, Vixen rationalized. The coats were all going to someone dear (and possibly horny), anyway.
Every year there are some gifts on back order that Santa can’t provide. So many people in Aspen ask for more time, which isn’t difficult to deliver, as time flies, but is nearly impossible to find. Others request happiness. To those people, Santa delivers a mirror with a note attached: “Take a long look inside.”
Health also ranks among the most requested gifts. But Santa can’t deliver that, at least not this Christmas, though he keeps mentioning something called CRISPR, and says it’s coming soon. The smallest but most important gift ever, Santa promises. (By the way, CRISPR has nothing to do with how you may order your bacon and hashbrowns. Think genes and thank genius.)
This year, the most requested present is snow. Snow measured in feet. Light and dry. Delivered every night, so it may sparkle all day under a joyous winter sun. But not even a jet can deliver that. Only the jet stream can.
Usually, the best Santa can do regarding snow is a stocking stuffer — a paperweight that swirls up a blizzard of white when shaken.
“You’ll just have to wait for snow,” Santa says. “But your wait ends today!”
Next year, Santa plans to finally get modern and embrace technology. Why not deliver everything, everywhere, to everyone, by Amazon Prime, he’s decided. After all, doesn’t the company’s logo resemble a sleigh with a team of reindeer, dashing across the sky?
Anyway, Santa’s looking into it. He’s concerned about the future cost of online shopping due to the loss of net neutrality. Something to do with Claus and effect, he says.
“I think I’ll deliver some advice this holiday season,” Santa muses. “Let’s get rid of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and just have a Christmas party.”
Maybe Santa can bring us happiness.
Better yet, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas says we can do it ourselves — a little more red and green spirit of Christmas, and a lot less red and blue dispirit of crisis.
Ho, ho, ho.
I adore Santa. He’s a very smart and worldly fellow with a good heart. He loves everyone. But sometimes he just sleighs me.
Greg Lewis is a 50-year resident of the Aspen valley who traveled worldwide for 30 years as a sports commentator for NBC and CBS. He received an Emmy for writing and has been published in several national and international periodicals.
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Interstate 70 is more than 60 miles south of Craig across rugged terrain. But when the east-west thoroughfare that bisects the state is shut down due to mudslides in Glenwood Canyon, the impact is felt close to home.