By Sharon Letts
The reindeer slowed above Seattle and headed across Puget Sound to Kingston, where an old friend waited with a small container of medicine.
Santa adjusted his glasses, cleared the GPS, rubbed his lower back, and called out landing instructions to Rudolph: “The rooftop of Steve Elliott’s house,” he commanded.
Steve could be seen in the distance making his way up a ladder at the side of the house. It was a ritual he had gotten used to, but rarely shared with anyone. Some shit is just not worth repeating.
After all, he was hated enough just being the vehicle of all things cannabis on a national platform. The more he knew, the more he sounded like a conspiracy theorist, and his yearly meeting with the fat man in the red suit was just a little over the top.
The two old friends smiled and waved as Santa landed the sled onto Steve’s roof. Years of riding continent to continent were taking a toll on the old man’s back, and the small vial of tincture Steve graciously provided helped him get through the rest of North America with relative ease.
“Merry Christmas, big guy! Welcome back to Washington State – a now legal state!” Steve greeted him with a warm hug, and both bantered back and forth about the legalities of being State legal and Federally insecure.
“Merry Christmas, Pork Daddy!” Santa said with a jolly laugh.
“How’s the back?” Steve asked, handing him a vial of tincture.
Santa took the small, glass container from Steve’s hand, rubbing the small of his back, “I can feel it now. It’s been a few hours since Denver. And I must say, though I’m thrilled both Colorado and Washington are legal, it’s a bitch seeing through the holiday smoke-outs!”
They both laughed, both holding their jolly bellies.
“If you had a full beard, I’d hand you the reins, Steve!” Santa said earnestly with a twinkle in his eye.
“This one is high in CBDs – let me know how it works for you,” Steve said as Santa took a dropper full of the tincture and squeezed it out into his mouth.
“Heading south to Seattle and eventually to Humboldt, maybe someone will have some edibles left out,” Santa laughed loud once more, with Steve joining in.
“Stay off the edibles, Santa – and all those cookies too!” Steve laughed tipping his hat as the sleigh rose up above Puget Sound, disappearing into the sky. “What a trip,” he said with a chuckle, knowing full well no one would ever believe Santa was a stoner.
The redwood curtain was real. For miles all Santa could see was a blanket of tree tops, with the ocean to keep him heading south west to Humboldt.
The County seat of Eureka stood out in the darkness, as he made his way to H Street. Santa loved the grand Victorians of Humboldt. “Whoa, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen,” he said, pulling the reins hard, feeling pain shoot up from his lower back. “Easy does it, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.”
Rudolf used the power of his glowing red nose to sniff-out the best place for Santa to kick it, and motioned to a rather large painted lady with a wide, brick fireplace.
“Nice one, Rudy,” Santa said, easing himself from the seat, noting he needed one dropper full every two hours or so, and gingerly lifting one of the red velvet bags from the back of the sled.
Once inside, Santa emptied the contents of the bag under a grand Christmas tree and glanced at the proverbial plate of fresh baked cookies and tall glass of milk sitting on the hearth. He sat down on an over-stuffed chair by the fireplace, and reached for his tincture. A brightly colored tray on the coffee table decorated with his image caught his eye.
“There I am! Ho, ho, ho!” he whispered to the family dog, now cocking its head with curiosity at the big guy in the red suit. “Here’s a cookie for you,” he said, handing the dog a treat. “I’ve eaten enough cookies to last me a lifetime,” he laughed.
The tray held a bong, a small grinder, an ash tray, and a small mason jar, with what Santa assumed was some of Humboldt’s finest bud.
“Ho, ho, ho!” he said, winking at the pooch.
Santa looked around making sure no little ones were hiding in waiting, picked up the grinder and put a small amount of the bud inside. Once ground, he leaned in and inhaled the fragrant aroma. “Nice,” he smiled, packing the bong with a good-sized hit.
After several bowls full, Santa felt pleased and relaxed. His lower back ache dissolved away with another dose of tincture. He decided to let the reindeer outside rest a bit more and sank back into the chair.
“Damn!” Santa said, sitting upright, but it was too late. A man appeared at the top of the stairs. The patriarch of the family, and assumed owner of the tray, leaned over the banister ledge, squinting in the dim light, unable to believe his eyes. Santa was pinching his stash!
“Ho, ho, ho!?” Santa said in an unsure and questioning tone.
“Well, ‘ho, ho, ho’ to you,” the man said, making his way down the stairs. “Looks like you are making yourself at home.” The man glanced at the tree, “Thanks for the swag, Santa. I suppose some Humboldt bud is the least I can do. Mind if I join you?”
“Oh, yes; please do,” Santa responded, handing the bong over to its rightful owner. “What do you call this maker of this fine magic?”
“It’s called ‘Redwood Kush,’ Santa, and quite good, if I do say so myself.”
“What strain? Is this indoor?” Santa inquired, knowingly.
“Heavy on Sativa — outdoor organic, actually,” he said, surprised and impressed at Santa’s level of knowledge.
“Well, I should have a Sativa right about now, and I do appreciate the outdoor organic,” Santa informed. “Last year Rudolf’s nose took me to a house up the road, and I swear there was mold in it — made me feel just awful until I could get over to Kevin at the Humboldt Patient Resource Center for some tummy tea, but, that’s another story.”
Santa could feel himself trailing in the conversation. He tended to get a bit chatty when medicated.
“How do you know this stuff, Santa?” the man asked.
“Well, I read… hmm.” Santa cleared his throat, lifted the stem out from the bong, and blew the stale smoke out, as the man raised his eyebrows.
“Actually, Mrs. Claus discovered the stuff for her arthritis… and then there was that elf with epilepsy, and Rudolph’s chronic headaches…” Santa stopped himself.
“My wife has breast cancer,” the man replied.
The two men sat in silence, passing the bong back and forth in a quiet
“God is with us,” Santa said, to the man’s grateful thanks. “Have you been able to get her that strong concentrate, what’s it called?”
“What concentrate?” the man asked.
“It was created by a man by the name of Rick Simpson,” Santa informed. “He cured his own cancer and now many are using it with good results.”
“I’ll look into it; thanks, Santa,” the main smiled, passing the bong back him.
The faint sound of restless reindeers caused Santa to sit up.
“I’m good, thank you,” he declined. “Well, this sure has been a pleasure,” Santa said getting up out of the chair with some effort. Mind if I take a little something for the road?”
“Not at all, Santa,” the man smiled, quickly rolling up a fatty. “Safe trip!” he called to him, watching out the window as the sled lifted up and off into the Humboldt sky.
Santa felt good. His back pain quelled, and he sang out, “Merry Christmas Humboldt, and to all a well night.”