I was digging through the vaults when I found this one. Throughout the years, I have been extremely lucky to have photographed Santa and his reindeer as they streaked across the sky, however, things were different on this particular winter morning on Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. With my eyes glued to the back of the viewfinder, I missed the fact that Santa had just passed by overhead. After checking the histogram of my image, I noticed something just wasn’t quite right. To my shock, I looked up and there he was. Santa and his reindeer had just pulled up ahead of me. I was befuddled. I hardly drink alcohol and definitely don’t do drugs so I wasn’t sure what was going on here. “ Ho Ho Ho ...Merry Christmas young man!” reverberated throughout the mountains. I looked behind me but there was no young man there. As Santa approached I realized that it was me he was speaking to. I chuckled. I suppose relative to Santa I am a young man. I can appreciate a firm sincere handshake and as Santa shook my hand, he darn near tore my arm off . I doesn’t get any more sincere than this I thought. I was excited and scared…or maybe scared and excited... I’m not sure which. Here I was in the peace and tranquility of my Rocky mountains having a one on one with Santa himself. Being mid November I wasn’t sure what Santa was doing out here. “Training son”, he explained. “ You never know when injuries can occur so you always have to have a back up plan and these are my back up reindeer…just in case.” He introduced Burner, Thunder, Bomber, Trumpet, Squeaker, Bullet, Puffer and Blaster. Strange names I thought to myself. We chatted a bit and shared some of Santa’s hooch he had in a flask tucked under his red coat. I was awe struck as he headed back to his sled and reindeer. I couldn’t believe the experience I had just encountered. And as Santa and his reindeer took off in a booming, thunderous flurry of flatulence, snow and wind, I was struck by the putrid scent left behind that could have stripped the paint off an old foot locker. It was that very moment that I realized how Santa’s back up reindeer got their names.
A Christmas Santa Story
Dec 23, 2020