Dateline - New York
In a long anticipated agreement lawyers of the holiday Christmas and those representing Jesus Christ yesterday announced the signing of a seven year, $180 million deal that will make the Prince of Peace the official face for the annual hellish winter celebration.
"We've been trying to get Jesus for a long time," said Christmas at a rare press conference. "Christ's image of purity and goodness is perfect to convince the struggling masses that mindless consumption and endless credit card debt are part of God's divine plan." Others who had been mentioned as potential Christmas spokespersons include Elizabeth Hurley, Justin Timberlake, Satan, and Tiger Woods. "But Christ was always our first choice," Christmas added.
The Son Of God, at his chateau outside of Avignon, was not available for comment, but his agent, Tabitha Von Braun, said Jesus was very happy with the blockbuster deal. "First and foremost, The Nazarene would like to thank Himself, without who's blessing this deal would never have been possible." Unlike The Messiah's ongoing agreement with the holiday Easter -- which he is contractually obligated to share with a large, egg producing rodent, the record-breaking Christmas contract promises the exclusive use of Christ's name and image in any and all Christmas films not involving Tim Allen, appearances in all official crèches, his benediction on Disney's new "Tickle-Me-Huckabee" doll, and the Lamb of God's promise of eternal damnation for all heathen who fail to participate in the sparkling greed driven Capitalist bonanza. "From now on when you think Christmas, you'll think Christ!" Von Braun added.
The agreement, however, will not take immediate effect as a lawsuit has been filed by Christmas' previous long-time spokesman, Santa Claus.
"I'm the face of Christmas!" said the self described "pissed off, un-jolly old elf" in a phone interview from his off-season flat in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Claus, aged 273, claims Christmas was unprofitable before their association, and owes it's current popularity to his diligence and salesmanship. "People sittin' around a yule log, singing songs of peace and love with their families, not buying crap. I'm the one that ended that! I made Christmas!"
When asked about the allegations Christmas responded this "is a simple matter or re-branding." The image of Santa giving gifts free-of-charge to good little girls and boys "is part of Christmas Past. What Christmas needs now," Christmas said -- referring to itself in the third person holiday, "is something that conveys not only the spirit of giving, but also the guilt of not giving. I mean, this Christ guy eventually gets nailed to a stick 'cause he loves you, and what -- you can't drop $300 on an XBox for your kid? Where's the love? And on top of that you might go to Hell if you don't! Oooooh, spooky! Who could say no?"
"I worked my tail off for this holiday," says Santa in a soon-to-be televised interview with Larry King. "The store appearances, T.V. specials, ridin' an electric shaver fer Christ's sake! I've had millions of kids on my lap askin' fer stuff, expensive stuff! Only thing you ever see in Christ's lap is a sheep. What the hell is up with that? And half the time he isn't even wearing pants -- just some little diaper thing... And then Christmas goes and... 180 million dollars! In a diaper! Know what I got all these years? Cookies and milk! You hear me -- cold cookies and warm stinkin' milk! But just when the real egg nog starts rolling in the King of Kings shows up for the payoff? Not if this fat man has anything to say about it. I'll see Christmas in court!"
At this time it is not clear if Santa's Helpers will be joining the elvish lawsuit. And as usual the Holy Ghost could not be reached for comment.