1. Life & Culture

Christmas in July with a special pandemic twist: a song

A funky little ditty pays tribute to a socially distant Santa wearing his mask.
For this Christmas in July, Santa's wearing a mask.
For this Christmas in July, Santa's wearing a mask. [ DEEDS DAVIS | Special to the Times ]
Published Jul. 7, 2020

Editor’s note: In a 1982 Floridian section of the then-St. Petersburg Times, we published the sheet music for an original Florida Christmas song titled “Christmas Without Snow.” In 2007, the Times recorded a music video of the song, performed by author Roy Peter Clark. You can find it on YouTube.

On a recent visit to the mall, my wife, Karen, noticed an old biker dude with a long white beard wearing a medical mask. “Look,” said Karen. “Santa’s wearing a mask.” That was all I needed for a new hook to my old song. Here are the lyrics in poetry form. The illustration was created by our son-in-law Deeds Davis.

Who knows what Christmas 2020 will look like? We hope Santa can deliver to the world a vaccine for the coronavirus. In the meantime, in the broiling heat of summer, let’s celebrate a little Christmas in July.

Santa Wore a Mask, Christmas in July, 2020

A pandemic came our way

Would it spoil our Christmas Day?

But until it went away

Santa wore a mask.

Yes, he has a fuzzy beard

And a mask would look quite weird

But in spite of what we feared

Santa wore a mask.


Wear your mask

Santa may ask

If you’ve done this task

Hey! Don’t drink from my flask.

Social distance was the way

Reindeers pulled on Santa’s sleigh

At six feet distance they would stay

Santa wore a mask.

Your elbow is the place to sneeze

Don’t cough virus in the breeze

That curve will flatten, if you please,

Santa wore a mask.

[Repeat chorus]

If the Grinch is feeling Grouchy

And all stank and kinda slouchy

Hook him up with Dr. Fauci

Santa wore a mask

If a fevered Suzy Snowflake

Turns into a crispy cornflake

Please dispense with hugs and handshakes

Santa wore a mask.

[Repeat Chorus]

Santa won’t be at the mall

To hear the children’s greedy call

“A truck, a doll, I want it all!”

Santa wore a mask.

St. Nick may miss your living room

But don’t be sad or filled with gloom

He will visit via Zoom

Santa wore a mask.

[Repeat Chorus and Out]

Roy Peter Clark teaches writing at the Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times. He is the author of many books, the latest of which is “Murder Your Darlings,” a writing book about writing books. Contact him at


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