From the outside a Santa Claus melon, with its long oval shape and splotchy green-and-yellow skin, looks like a small watermelon. Inside, however, its yellowish-green flesh looks and tastes more like honeydew melon. This member of the muskmelon family (see melon) grows to about a foot in length, with some specimens weighing as much as 10 pounds. Santa Claus melon, also called Christmas melon, was so named because its peak season is in December. Choose a melon that is slightly soft at the blossom end, heavy for its size and has a yellowish cast to the rind. Avoid those with soft spots or with damaged skin.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.