Santa Smoking the Night Before Christmas? Woman Fights to Alter Famous Story

An author and former smoker has spent over $200,000 attempting to remove the image of Santa smoking from the famous tale of "The Night Before Christmas."

"Twas the night before Christmas," is a familiar line to many who have told and been told the famous classic tale. But some may have overlooked the line that reads, "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth. And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath."

As a former smoker, Pamela McColl says she know many who have lost people to smoking.

"A lot of people my age have lost someone to smoking," McColltold the L.A. Times. "And I thought, 'Oh my. This is a great project.'"

McColl released her self-published version of the story through Vancouver-based publisher Grafton and Scratch. The story remains the same and is intact up to the point where Santa has been described as a smoker. That sole line has been omitted.

But McColl is not without her critics.

"Putting children in an insulation bubble, hoping to protect them from anything their parents may deem harmful, is not only impossible, it is unproductive," The National Coalition Against Censorship said in a statement to The Guardian.

Charles C. Cooke has also pointed out in the past, that Santa has other questionable habits that could make him a more questionable role model.

"Santa Claus smokes! He also breaks and enters, travels without a passport, violates the terms of goodness knows how many countries' airspace, and doesn't pay taxes. He is overweight and he has little plan to do much about it. He's a terrible drunk, at least in Britain and Australia, where he is left sherry; and in Ireland, where he is traditionally provided with beer," he wrote in an October issue of the National Review.

It may surprise some to know that Santa isn't a stranger to smoking ads either and at some point, he was even a Marlboro man.