Monday, December 13, 2010


Christmas in the 90s

Maybe there's snow - maybe not,
The magical presence of Santa Claus -
Modern derivative of Old Saint Nick,
With bag of toys - never tricks,
Travels by sleigh and flying reindeer -
Over our housetops,
Magical flight.
Down the chimney he comes
In the midst of the night -
So they say.

His presence brings presents
Once in the year,
And what had begun
As a spirit of giving,
Has morphed to a season
In which Christmas sales
May be the reason
We still earn a living!

I wrote this poem in the 90s and each year we see the stores and malls start earlier and earlier to put Christmas things out (even before Halloween now), trying to get a running start on sales. I don’t know if it helps – but it does also show up the web that ties so much together – good sales = jobs, manufacturing of goods. And poor sales mean layoffs and fewer jobs. We are so very interconnected in this!

Another part of all this are the endless Santa’s and lines for kids to tell Santa what they want him to bring them –

What You See Is Not What Is

In the card, a wonderful picture
Santa with a small child on his lap -
An image of the magic of Santa
And Christmas and children -

In reality -
The child screams and cries,
Stranger danger -
And this one the strangest of all -
Or perhaps - the coming to life
Of this white-haired, red-suited figure
Seen in stories and film
Is what frightens -

Mothers plead, cajole
To get the kid in the lap and picture -
Some even threaten
Muttering dire consequences
Under their breath,
While the photographer
Tries various toys and antics
To bring a momentary smile of glee
To that captive face caught on film.

This ritual of the season
Plays out every year -
There is always that first time though
That first encounter with Santa,
The fear and tears and struggles -
Is it any wonder -
That children having survived it,
Think Santa owes them big time?

Lastly comes after Christmas when while shopping for an after-Christmas birthday, one encounters:

Christmas Rubble

The holiday storm is over –
Store racks and displays picked clean
With remnants of fine gifts
Offered now at bargain prices –
Last step before junk;
Impossible to find
A choice birthday gift
In such rubble.

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