"For fecks sake, Santa" said Mrs Claus. "I'm sick of it. Year in, year out, it's always the same old story. The children, the children. Well what about your own children? Little Johnnie Claus is nearing his two hundredth birthday, and he barely knows you. His sister Charlene is no better off."
Santa lifted his eyes to Heaven and with a shrug of his shoulders and a deep sigh, he rose from the table, leaving his dinner untouched.
"I'm off to the tavern woman. It's got so a man can't have peace in his own home."
" Be off with yea then, but if you keep up this behaviour it won't be your home for long. "
Santa left the house, slamming the door on his way. He trudged off in the direction of The Little Elf Inn, leaving deep footprints in the snow. He called Rudolf on the way.
"Hey Rudy, fancy a few beers and a game of pool?"
" I'd love to, Santa, but tomorrow is Christmas eve and half the toys aren't wrapped yet. "
"Ah, go on ou'a that, Rudy. The elves can manage without us for one night. The Missus is giving me fierce grief altogether. I could do with a decent pint and a good friend to cheer me up."
" All right Santa, if you insist. But only one or two, mind you. We have a big day tomorrow. "
Santa arrived at the Elf about five or six minutes ahead of Rudolf and had two creamy pints waiting when his friend entered the pub, stomping his hooves and shaking the snow from his antlers.
"Jaysus Santa, that's a nasty night. Even with my bright nose, I could hardly see through the blizzard."
"Sit yourself down by the fire Rudy and get some heat into ye. I'm telling ye, it's a lot colder in my house than it is out there. Me oul one will be the death of me, what with her bitter tongue."
Of course one round led to another, and another, and another. Santa moaned about his nagging wife, while Rudy did his best to cheer his old friend. Before they knew it, it was early morning as the two old pals staggered out of the pub, both of them stotious drunk. They wobbled off in the direction of the North Pole, where the elves had Santa sleigh fully loaded and ready for take off.
One look at the dishevelled pair was all it took for the elves to implore Santa not to fly.
Santa wouldn't hear of it.
"Give me me keys, ye little shit." he roared at Teddy Elf, the workshop foreman and Elf Union boss. " I'm as jober as a sudge. Of course I can fly the sleigh. "
Moments later the team was in the air, with Rudolf proudly leading the way, his red nose twice as bright as usual. The other reindeer noticed that the course was slightly erratic, but remembering Santa's earlier temper, they remained silent.
Santa swigged away on a bottle on Jameson and by the time they reached the first house on the list, Santa could hardly distinguish between the Pink and Blue wrapping, let alone read the names on each gift.
And so it came to pass that on that night, many, many presents were delivered in a rather haphazard and random fashion.
On Christmas morning, Ms Harris, a forth something spinster, unwrapped her present. Expecting her usual pyjamas and bed socks, she was shocked to find a multi function, twin head electric dildo, batteries included. After a lot of dithering and doubt, she gave in to temptation and decided to test the device. After all, it was a gift from Santa. To her amazement, she discovered pleasures she had never even dreamed of. Within weeks she was man-hunting for the real thing.
And so it went on and on.
Little Freddie Martin received a Windy doll instead of the Action Man marine he'd asked for. It didn't take long for Freddie to discover that he preferred being a girl.
Tommy Thrupence, an avid stamp collector, who had always been bookish, received a football. Years later he would score the winning goal in the Soccer world cup final.
People spoke of that strange Christmas for years after. Despite the crazy mix-ups, every stray gift revealed a hidden talent or passion in every recipient.
On Saint Stevens day, still nursing a very sore head, Santa announced that it was time for Santa junior to take the reins. Santa had seen the error of his ways and intended to begin training his son Johnie to take over the family business.
Mrs Claus was overjoyed. She declared that it was the best Christmas ever. To this day, the happy, now retired, couple can be seen eve winter walking hand in hand on Miami beach.
By all accounts Johnnie is doing a great job as Santa and Rudolf has joined AA, vowing to never drink another drop.