Point of No Return — You might have to search, but Christmas spirit is alive

Date Published: 
Dec. 8, 2017

Not Zippy.

Yes, Zippy.

There was a full-fledged manhunt going on in Deerfield, N.H., as of Wednesday morning, as authorities were trying to find Zippy, the beloved mannequin that resembles a life-sized version of Elf on the Shelf, as reported by newhampshire.com.

According to the story, members of Deerfield’s Rescue Squad traditionally move Zippy around town to different locations during the Christmas season, and then ask residents to share his whereabouts on their Facebook page. Authorities say Zippy was last seen on a folding chair outside a town park, and that he was reported missing on Monday, Dec. 4.

“This is not a joke or a game; we are very upset about someone choosing to ruin the fun for Deerfield’s children,” the Deerfield Rescue Squad wrote in a Facebook post.

Actually, this is pretty messed up. Deerfield has a population of about 4,400, from what I can gather online, and you’d have to think Zippy was well-known to just about everybody in town. It sounds like it was a fun game for the kids in town to participate in, and a great way to forge a stronger connection between the Deerfield Rescue Squad and the town’s citizens.

An educated guess would probably lead someone to suspect that Zippy’s abduction was caused by teens, as opposed to something more nefarious, but still... Bring back Zippy. The holiday season only comes around once a year. Let the little ones have their magic.

More Christmas mischief appeared to be taking place in Sea Girt, N.J. According to officials, a popular Christmas light display in town was tampered with, resulting in damaged wires and a threat to the town’s planned tree-lighting activities last Friday, per foxnews.com.

Apparently, the town scrambled to repair the damage before the big event, and was able to save some Christmas spirit for the town’s residents. More good news came the day after the event, when police released video footage they caught of the suspect damaging the lights.

Yeah, it was a squirrel.

“The Sea Girt Police Department is proud to report that the case of our broken holiday lights has been solved,” they shared in a press release. “We are happy that no human acted as a grinch in this incident. The squirrel was ‘charged’ with criminal michief and released on bail.”

Oh, nuts.

Of course, sometimes it’s not a case of teens or random squirrels trying to ruin Christmas for everybody else. Sometimes, it takes an adult to act like a complete fool. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Pastor David Grisham, a self-described Christian evangelist and a Darin-described jerk-face.

According to a story on huffingtonpost.com, children and their parents had gathered last week in North Pole, Alaska, to have their time in the lap with Santa Claus. For starters, how cool is it for kids to visit Santa in North Pole, Alaska? I mean, yeah, it’s not the “real” North Pole, but it’s cooler than, say, 99.9 percent of the rest of the world...

But I digress.

As not-yet-screaming-through-tears children anxiously stood in line with their parents to see Kris Kringle, Grisham made a loud announcement to the group, according to the story.

“I wanted to tell you kids today, too, that Santa Claus does not exist,” said Grisham. “Santa Claus is not real. The man you’re going to meet today is a man wearing a suit like a costume and it’s make-believe. It’s not real.”

A video of the incident showed parents trying to ignore Grisham, but some kids appeared shaken by the man.

“Your parents have been telling you a story that is not true,” he continued. “There are no reindeer, flying reindeer.”

This was not Grisham’s first bold jerk-face moment. In fact, his organization, Repent Amarillo, is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and he filmed himself engaging in similar behavior last year at a Texas mall. A few years before, according to the article, Grisham held a mock execution of Santa Claus.

Look, I get that the true meaning of Christmas has been somewhat buried under an avalanche of commercialism and hyper-political correctness. That is a message that must be conveyed by more people, or we risk eventually losing the real “magic” of the holiday forever.

But Santa Claus is fun, and represents the very fiber of love and giving — two elements of this world that are in short supply in 2017. If you are purposely going out and trying to destroy this holiday for children, well, guess what? You’re a jerk.

Especially when you consider the sacrifices some Santa Clauses will make, just to give a kid a smile.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a skydiving Santa was looking to make quite the entrance while taking an Elf on the Shelf (no relation to Zippy. I checked) to a 9-year-old girl on a beach near St. Petersburg, Fla.

George Krokus was dressed as Santa during a Saturday skydiving effort to bring toys to the Tampa Bay Beach Bums Operation Santa Charity Volleyball Tournament, with the aforementioned Elf on a Shelf earmarked for young Madison Spiers, when he crashed into a tree and light pole, breaking his leg.

Spiers got her Elf, proving that the Christmas spirit is alive and well, when jerk-faces aren’t involved.