Well, a lady from British Columbia felt obligated. The offending passage, of course, are the lines, "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth. And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath." She eliminated them in her version.
One woman's revisionist history of a Christmas classic. She even credited it as being from Santa for the benefit of 21st century kids! She went even further claiming all that smoking business was behind him and that his fur trim was faux out of respect for the animals. Oh, please. what's next? His weight? What a way to ruin a story. Why bother with Santa at all? Or is that her intent?
It's hard for me to believe two lines in a poem are going to have the kids it's aimed at thinking, wow, smoking is soooo cool. I think I'll light up! She claims they don't have the same Santa filters as the rest of us. Do you suppose it's because they don't need them? Does anyone?
She claims that three year olds look at him as a real person coming down the chimney and that he's smoking. A three year old is going to note he's smoking? I know kids are getting smarter at earlier ages these days, but three? I don't think so. If the did, however, they'd probably be thinking about pot rather than pipes. By the way, I love the smell of a pipe. My Dad smoked one. It didn't kill him either. And I never once thought about trying it myself.
On the other hand, perhaps she knows of what she speaks when she says that's how three year olds think. She would appear to have about the same mentality. My apologies to all the three year olds who might happen to read this.