It was on a Christmas Eve, not so very long ago, that two lost souls found each other. One, a mythic man, larger than life, dressed in red, the other a simple ass.
In the mountains of Spain, a powerful winter storm kicked up, suddenly and without warning. Santa Claus, not one to fly willy nilly into whiteout conditions, landed his sleigh. According to the weather elves back at the North Pole, the storm would soon pass. He was running a little ahead of schedule, so he had the time to spare.
Bitterly cold, Santa poured himself a cup of hot apple cider from a spigot installed on the dashboard of his sleigh. Ordinarily he would have hot chocolate, but he had just completed his run in Germany, where thick cream accompanied the delicious cookies. He needed a break from dairy.
As he checked over the reindeer’s rigging, he heard a sad braying on the wind. Santa turned, and through the driving snow could just make out a small brown figure, shivering in the distance. Santa approached this figure with great strides, and soon towered over a pathetic little ass.
“Whoa ho ho,” he exclaimed. “This ass is freezing!” He scooped up the little fellow in one arm, and offered it a sip from his hot apple cider.
The ass sipped a little at first, but was soon greedily drinking up all he could.
“Slow down there, little guy!” said Santa. Santa held the ass up and looked him over. “You are a cute ass!” he exclaimed. Looking around, there was no sign of civilization. “Who would abandon an ass like you?” Santa cuddled the ass in his burly arms, and turned back to his sleigh.
“Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen! Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen! We have company!” Santa made a little bed for the ass next to him. The ass settled into a big fluffy blanket. “This ass is exhausted! Let’s finish our rounds so we can take him home!”
And so Santa flew off into the night, delivering toys to little boys and girls, while his ass waited for him in the sleigh.
Mrs. Claus wasn’t too crazy about Santa bringing home a strange ass.
“Santa! Why would you bring your dirty ass in here!”
“Aw… he’s just a little ass, after all. And he’s freezing still! Here, put your hand on my ass!”
Mrs. Claus gave Santa a look, but did as requested. “My! Your ass is cold! Let’s get it close to the fire!”
They kept watch on the shivering little ass all night. No matter how hot the fire, how thick the blankets, nothing seemed to warm up Santa’s ass.
Suddenly, Santa had a brilliant idea. Remembering how the ass responded to hot apple cider, he fetched a piping hot bowl for the ass. The ass came to life, and started slurping up the delicious drink.
Santa laughed, cheeks aglow. “That ass can’t get enough! I’m going to name him Cinnamon!”
And so he did. Months passed, and Santa’s little ass grew larger and larger. It must have been the hot apple cider, because while he grew he also changed colors! No longer was he small and brown. Santa’s ass was big and red!
Another Christmas came around, and to everyone’s dismay, the reindeer had all come down with a reindeer-specific strain of coronavirus. They were in no shape to pull Santa’s sleigh. At wit’s end, afraid he’d have to cancel Christmas, Santa suddenly had a brilliant thought.
“Cinnamon!” You see, asses are known for their ability to pull great weight. And an ass as big as Santa’s could surely pull his sleigh!
“Okay, Cinnamon,” said Santa. “I need you to do me a huge favor tonight. You see, all the good little boys and girls of the world are counting on me to deliver presents. Do you think you could pull Santa’s sleigh?”
Cinnamon lifted his chin and looked out across the starry sky. He knew that out there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of children counting on Santa. This was the moment for Santa’s ass to shine. Cinnamon looked Santa in the eye, and solemnly nodded his head.
“I’m going to put some magic reindeer flying powder in your hot apple cider. This is going to make it so you can fly.” Cinnamon drank deep, and instantly felt the magical charge shoot through him. “Let’s go make some children happy!”
And so Cinnamon pulled Santa’s sleigh that night, taking hot apple cider breaks to stay warm against the frigid cold. When they pulled back into the North Pole, all the elves were waiting to cheer. Even the reindeer, sick though they were, came out to beat their hooves on the ground in salute. Mrs. Claus held out Cinnamon’s favorite blanket. She was definitely going to pamper that ass tonight!
Santa scratched Cinnamon’s ears and gave him a kiss on the nose.
“You did a great job tonight. I’m so happy I found you last year! I may have rescued you, but you’ve returned the favor tonight!” For the first time Cinnamon could remember, he felt warm. Not because of blankets or hot apple cider, but because of a job well done.
And that’s the story of Santa’s big red ass.