Christmas in Santa Fe. Farolitos glowed on the rooftops. On the Plaza, a million lights punctuated the night, reminding us of all that is good in the season.

But Ebenezer Scrooge was having none of it. On Christmas Eve, the old curmudgeon worked in his counting-house. Scrooge had a small fire, and as it slowly died, he opened a drawer, retrieved a stack of holiday donation pleas from worthy charities, and chucked them into the stove. Glancing at the one on top, he said, "Santa Fe Animal Shelter? Bah! Humbug!"

Suddenly, there was a clanking of chains behind him. He turned, and beheld Jacob Marley, his old business partner, seven years dead.

"My time here is short, Ebenezer. You shall be visited by three ghosts tonight, the first at the stroke of midnight. Heed their words!" With that, Marley was gone.

As Scrooge dropped a Williams-Sonoma catalog onto the flames, his old clock began to chime and there were claps of thunder. Perched in his window was a ghostly woman. A denim dress, cowboy boots and flaming red hair.

"Bonnie Raitt?" Scrooge asked.

"No, stupid. I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. Look into this Santa Fe snow globe. What do you see?"

"That's Dahlia, my former fiancée. She left me because I wouldn't take her to Geronimo for our engagement. We went to Lotaburger, instead."

"Wow. You really were a dick, weren't you? I'm outta here."

Four hours later, more thunder, some lightning, and a new ghost. Looked like the same woman, but with raven hair.

"Say, aren't you…"

"Yes, we had to save some money on the production. I'm the Ghost of Christmas Present. Look into the snow globe."

"That's me, at Christmas dinner with my nephew's family. There's Tiny Tim on his crutches. His foot got caught in a cougar trap while he was hiking on public land. It's legal, in New Mexico…"

"Can they do anything for Tim?"

"His parents should've signed up for Obamacare."

"You're still a dick, huh? See ya."

Three hours later. Some lightning. Same woman. Blond wig.

"I am the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Look into the snow globe. This is your funeral."

"But I see no one mourning. Not even that former mayor, who shows up at everything! Oh, apparition, can this be changed?"

"Sure. Just stop being a dick!" Poof! She was vapor.

Scrooge ran to the window, flung it open, and shouted, "Merry Christmas, one and all! Lad, here's a farthing. Fetch me a fine, fat Tofurky!

"Henceforth, I shall observe Christmas in my heart, every day!"

Scrooge was better than his word. He not only paid for Tim's foot operation, but he lobbied the State Legislature to ban trapping on public lands and to respect wildlife.

Scrooge located Dahlia, married her, and they had their wedding reception at Geronimo. Tiny Tim himself gave the memorable toast: "Let's make America great again!"

Not what you were expecting him to say, was it?

Robert Basler’s humor column runs twice monthly in SFR. Email the author: