Truth in advertising of wat? De kerstkaart van Neil Gaiman (“Nicholas was…”) wordt als volgt beschreven op Things From Another World:
Just in time for those early Holiday shoppers, Dark Horse Maverick is pleased to offer the “Nicholas Was” Christmas Card! Beautifully painted by award-winning artist Michael Zulli (The Last Temptation), open the card and you’ll find Neil Gaiman’s bleakly charming Yuletide vignette “Nicholas Was. . .” from his short story collection Smoke and Mirrors. Bound in cellophane with six identical cards and envelopes to a bundle, these cards are sure to chase the gloom away from any Scrooge’s heart.
Sure to chase the gloom away!? Het verhaaltje van Gaiman is één van zijn typische andere kijken op bekende gegevens (zoals Snow Glass Apples over Sneeuwwitje), speciaal geschreven voor zijn eigen kerstkaartje een paar jaar geleden, en juist 100 woorden lang:
older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.
The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.
Once every year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into ENDLESS NIGHT. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves’ invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.
He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harder.