Canadian Author Removes Smoking References from “Twas The Night Before Christmas”

(WGGB) – A holiday classic is getting a healthier look, thanks to one Canadian author.

The New York Post is reporting that author Pamela McColl has removed all references of Santa’s propensity for the tobacco pipe from a new version of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as Twas the Night Before Christmas).

The paper says that McColl removed two verses:

“The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth”
“And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath”

McColl also brought in an illustrator to redraw Santa without the pipe and the smoke.

McColl told the Post that “No one can backtrack now. Santa has stopped smoking, and 2012 is the year he quit, and there’s nothing anyone can do about.”

Some, however, don’t like the changes to the centuries-old Christmastime classic.

The president of the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, Nicholas Trolli, says, “Leave my story alone! This change is not officially sanctioned by the North Pole.”

It’s denying access to the original voice of the author and that’s censorship,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone from the American Library Association said to the Post.