1992 Upper Deck Christmas card #1 of 10 – Santa’s New Sleigh
‘Tis the season to show off awful, Christmas-themed trading cards. This one in particular was part of a 10-card set issued by Upper Deck in 1992. Each card shows Santa Claus and his elves engaged in different sporting activities – baseball, football, basketball and of course, hockey. The dealer that I purchased this set from can’t recollect its exact origin, but believed that Upper Deck sent it to him “back in the day” as a sort of promotional item.
You would think that Santa Claus – living at the North Pole and all – would be the type of mythical character to enjoy hockey. The cold weather would make it perfect to make ice and play some shinny. And what opponents would he have in his neighborhood? A few elves? Frosty the Snowman? Rudolph? That would be like Cam Neely playing against a bunch of pee-wees.
Unfortunately, that’s not what Upper Deck thought about when making this card. Instead, the front shows a poorly-illustrated Santa Claus driving a Zamboni that is pulled by two skate-wearing reindeer. Last time I checked, ice resurfacing machines were self-propelled. So why is this one hitched to two beasts of burden? The answer is explained in great detail on the back:
In one of the worst winters in the history of man, Santa needed the help of more than just a red-nosed reindeer. Although the weather was sunny and fine for flying, the snowy conditions on the icy rooftops and streets below would not allow Santa to land safely. What could he do? He would not allow the children of the world to have no X-mas at all.
As he pondered the situation one nite, he turned to watch the hockey game on t.v. Suddenly, he had idea. There on the screen was the answer to his woes, an ice smoothing machine. Now he could smooth out his landing spots first and then after attaching skates to the hooves of his reindeer, Santa could stop quickly and without danger. Best of all, though, he has something to do after the holidays.
So, let me see if I got this straight: Santa is worried because the streets and rooftops are icy, so his solution is to first smooth out the ice with a Zamboni?
Call me silly, but I’m pretty sure that sleighs – and reindeer – are made to handle snowy and icy conditions.
Did someone at Upper Deck really get paid to write the text on this card? And if so, did it take them more than 2 minutes to think of something this bad? Whoever it was should get 2 minutes in the box for bad writing and a lump of coal in their stocking.