‘Twas a week before Christmas and all through the land
the holiday smugness had gotten out of hand.
According to some, a war had been waged.
Ignoring reality, they erupted in rage
about things like Eid stamps or public displays
for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or other holidays.
“Keep Christ in Christmas!” they’d emphatically shout
forgetting the values their Christ cared about,
and that atheists weren’t inclined to destroy
a holiday which brought many godless souls joy.
Then there were others (with some overlap)
who complained that the world was just going to crap
because so many at Christmas enjoyed material things
like train sets and roast beast and five golden rings.
They watched movies and they ate cookies galore,
and even bought their presents new in the store.
The gifts weren’t donations made in friends’ names,
not upcycled, not used, yet they felt no shame.
Was it possible to love family and still enjoy stuff?
The complainers doubted it would feed their egos enough.
There were even people so terribly haughty
as to think that NO child, whether nice or naughty,
should receive gifts from the jolly man in red,
because it meant planting lies in their innocent heads.
Lies, they said, not a legend or a story,
in an apparent effort to be inflammatory.
Playing Santa meant parents were ruining kids’ trust
and of course those children would never adjust
to reality once they realized the truth,
and it would be the end of innocence and youth.
I promise you, friends, it wasn’t all bad.
There were plenty of reasonable moms and dads
who were Christian or minimalist or eschewed St. Nicholas
in their own celebrations, but never acted ridiculous
toward families who made different decisions
in all of their festivities and their traditions.
They knew people could do things in all different ways
without having failed at the holidays.
To them, what mattered was people coming together
bringing warmth and hope amid drab, freezing weather.
And as smugness and Yuletide cheer battled it out
I could have sworn that I heard someone shout
“‘Tis the season to don clothing several layers thick.
May your days be merry, and may you not be a dick.”
Featured image: “Christmas Village Detail” by Throwingbull on Flickr