The Night Before Christmas

Legally Speaking

Edited by Ron Collins

Whereas, on or about the night immediately prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of residential real property (hereinafter referred to as the "House"), a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to, a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stockings, socks, etc., were affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter referred to as "Claus") would arrive sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e., the children, of the aforementioned House, were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e., dreams, wherein visions of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts, and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort, and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (hereinafter referred to as "I"), being the joint owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter referred to as "Mama"), and said Mama, had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice of warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenance to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party to the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of said disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter referred to as the "Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the atmosphere by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of said Vehicle appeared to be, and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction, and navigational aid (including, but not limited to, latitude, longitude, and angle of descent), to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically indentified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen (hereinafter referred to as the "Deer"). (Upon additional information, it is further asserted that an additional animal co-conspirator named "Rudolph" may or may not have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle, and the Deer, intentionally and wilfully trespass upon the roofs of several residential dwellings located adjacent to, and in the vicinity of, the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys, and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either expressed or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney and with flagrant disregard for the personal safety and privacy rights of the individuals residing therein.

You're a Lawyer, Mr. Grinch

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe, in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stockings of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and/or other small presents. (Said presents did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minors pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Codes.)

Upon completion of said task, Claus touched the side of his nose and, through an unknown force of witchcraft and/or sorcery, and in obvious defiance of gravitational forces, flew, rose, and/or ascended the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus assumed control of the Vehicle, whistled to the Deer, and immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of said Vehicle, Deer, and Claus from the roof of said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim "Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night ! ! !"

. . .Or Words To That Effect. . .

Forget It Santa . . . We're Going Back Home Where It's Warm !!!

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