As the reindeer took a break along the cliffs of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Santa looked out over the Celtic Sea, to the State of Eire, and County Cork to the South, where he was hoping to find relief for his aching back.
The trip around the globe this year was not easy, with the highly contagious virus, COVID, raging from country to country.
More than one home had a sign posted on its roof with a note asking Santa to leave the packages on the front stoop – with kind requests to not enter the home. Some had left the traditional offering of cookies and milk on the doorstep. Making a short rest by the hearth non-existent.
Reaching inside his coat into a special hidden pocket sewn behind his breast pocket, he pulled out a small bottle of tincture, now nearly empty. Mrs. Claus had warned, “Don’t over do it with the tincture, my love, you need to make it last.” But, the pain was too great, the stops more laborious, with Santa finding he needed more than usual.
Santa let the last drops of golden oil drip onto his tongue from the bottle, then tossed it into the trash bag hanging from the dash of the sled.
“On Dancer, on Prancer, on Donner, on Blixen, Santa has a stop to make,” he hollered over the ocean waves crashing on the coastline. “Taking out a handful of cannabis fan leaves from a bin under the sled seat, Santa gave a bunch to Rudolph, then offered a handful to each reindeer.”
Ever since the elves began farming cannabis indoors at the North Pole the reindeers had benefited from the superfood as a supplement – preventing infections, strengthening their immune systems, soothing aching muscles, and increasing their stamina two-fold for this long night.”
Off they went across the sea into the night sky, to the State of Eire and a little shop on Lavitt’s Quay called The Funky Skunk.
“The Funky Skunk,” Santa chuckled thinking of the name.”As long as the oil is strong and the plant is dank as skunk to begin with, that’s all that matters to me.”
Santa made his way above the winding waterways, across Lough Mahon, and into the town of Centre in the County of Cork.
He and the reindeers touched down lightly on the roof of The Funky Skunk, tucked into a line of row houses along the River Lee.
Its proprietor, Helen Stone, had just shut The Funky Skunk and was refilling a CBD cartridge display on the counter when she noted a new brand.
“Need to test this one, she said, putting a cartridge onto a slender vaporizer pen, then taking a puff. The vaporized concentrate was sweet and flavorful, with a full profile of beneficial compounds. It immediately gave her a sense of well-being and calmness after her long and hectic workday.
She was just tidying up the counter when she heard and felt the sound of something large landing on the roof with a frightening thud.
Stone ran out to the street and couldn’t believe her eyes. Shaking her head, she said to no one in particular, “How much trace THC was in that cartridge?!”
Just then, Santa peered out over the rooftop, and with a hand on either hip, smiled down at Stone, laughing as he greeted her, “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!”
Not wanting to be rude, Stone rallied and replied, “Dia dhuit, Merry Christmas, Santa!” not believing her eyes.
“I’m wondering if you can help me out,” the jolly man shouted down to the street, after lowering his facemask. “Looking for a bit of relief for nagging lower back pain.”
Stone lowered her own facemask and told him how to get down off the roof and into the shop.
“We only have CBD, ” she informed him. “Ireland isn’t yet legal for whole plant cannabis products, unfortunately. But, I can help you with tincture, salve, or flower to smoke.”
“Oh my, that is disappointing,” Santa said, rubbing his lower back with a white-gloved hand. “In countries where cannabis is not yet legal, I’ve been known to be illegally healed,” he said with a wink.”
“Santa, I would help you in a pinch, but sadly, I’ve been fined and jailed in the past for having THC and other hallucinogenic products on hand. Yes, you are right, people of Ireland are being illegally healed every day, but not from my shop.”
“Well, let’s see what you have,” Santa said, sitting down at a table across from Stone. “Tincture would be nice, and if you don’t mind, I’d love a hit or two from the flower while we visit.”
“My honor, Santa,” Stone said, setting up a glass bong on the table with six feet between them, then grinding some flower. “This CBD flower is called Cheese. It’s got a wee percentage of THC at 0.15 percent.”
Stone handed Santa her iPad, where she had the cultivar details up on the screen.
“To relieve your aches and sharpen your mind,” Santa read, happily. “Well, this might just do the trick. Much obliged!” Santa settled in for a bit of good craic.
Santa picked up the glass bong and inhaled deeply, using a silicone hitter by Mooselabs for safety from the COVID.
He could feel his body relaxing and his lower back settling down. The tincture made by Remedy Health was flavoured with blackcurrant and would create an entourage effect together with smoking the flower, giving him complete relief in about 20 minutes’ time.
“So, when do you think Ireland will allow whole-plant cannabis?” Santa inquired.
“Lord only knows,” Stone said, sadly. “A few years ago one mother, Yvonne Cahalane, was allowed to give her two-year-old son, Tristen, Sativex from GW Pharmaceuticals in England for severe seizures, but she said it didn’t work as well as the whole plant. Evidently, they need some THC, but so many fear it. Anyway, she ended up moving temporarily to Colorado in the United States for help with better products.”
“I truly can’t imagine having to leave your home country to be helped by this simple plant,” Santa said in dismay. “It just doesn’t’ seem right, when so many countries are on board to help their own now. What will it take to educate your legislators?”
“Your guess is as good as mine, Santa,” she said, solemnly.
The two sat in silence, quietly passing the bong back and forth, each using a silicone hitter for safety in these trying times.
Santa wondered why they always used the children as pawns, playing politics with the plant, when it helped so many with so many ailments.
“What about the children?” he blurted out in anger. “Mrs. Claus keeps track of the kids, you know. Not just the naughty and nice ones, but the children suffering from sickness and cancers. In Ireland alone, one in four deaths are caused by cancer – adults included. One in 24 kids born in Ireland today are diagnosed with autism – and cannabis helps with both.”
“We need more education,” Stone said.
“We need more legislators and politicians to get educated,” he replied. “Help the people get what they need – especially when it isn’t coming from the medical community.”
“Santa, you are preaching to the choir,” Stone said, returning the bong to its place on a shelf behind them. “They can all feck off if you ask me.”
“Miles to go before I sleep, thank you for your kindness, mam,” Santa said, making his way back up to the rooftop and to his motley crew.
“Sláinte, Santa,” until we meet again,” she said, watching his descent into the starry night sky.
Rudolph’s nose was lit, and Santa was happily feeling no pain.