It Takes a Grinch to Ban Christmas

On Christmas Eve, as I
Walked home through the park,
An unhappy old soul sat
In the snow, cold, and dark
His sunken and sad eyes
Twinkled only with tears
That ran down his red nose
Ghastly pale he appeared
Long icicles dangling
From his frosty-white beard
A baggy and tattered
Funny red suit he wore -
With soiled white fur trim,
Black boots, and what's more,
A floppy red hat, rimmed
And topped with white fur!
In this time-worn outfit
He sat shivering: "Brrr!"

I spied the ancient hulk
Of a sleigh, once so cheery;
Now decrepit and dull
As the old man was weary.
A sign, "Reindeer for Sale"
Was propped near the sleigh,
Reindeer were out of stock,
(Or, perhaps, gone astray).
A sign next to him said:
"Chimney Sweeper for Hire."
Written too, in small print,
"Please, do put out the fire!"

As I wondered at what
To my eyes did appear,
He broke out into song,
His voice strong, his words clear.

[He sang:]

"Dr. Seuss saw this coming!
How, oh, how did he know?
Seems like just yesterday -
It was *not* long ago...
People hung out stockings,
They sang carols at night,
Made wreaths, lit candles,
Trimmed trees with delight."

"Verily, not long ago,
Folks greeted each other:
'Merry Christmas, Ma'am!'
'Happy Holidays, Sir!'
Now, hardly a greeting
E're rings out like a bell
On the streets of the city
But perchance, 'Go to h*ll!'"

"All the kindly old Whos
Have left happy Whoville
To work for Mister Scrooge,
That grumpy old devil…
And naïve younger Whos
Have all been conscripted
To wage wars for the Grinch
Or worse, they've enlisted…!"

[Santa hops up on his park bench and mimics President Grinch, growling...]

"Christmas is strrrictly PROHIBITED!  Anyone caught celebrating will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law.  Citizens are required to report any celebratory activity.  Stay on the lookout!  Any of the following activities should be considered suspicious, as they indicate likely connections to celebrationism:  Gift-giving, eggnog drinking, giggling or laughing, cookie making, chopping down small evergreen trees, singing, buying of ribbons, bows, or wrapping paper..."

["Bah, humbug!" Santa settles back down and resumes his song somberly...]

"No more sparkling candles,
No smiling faces all aglow,
No more 'Merry Christmases!'
No more dangling mistletoe!
No longer are jingle bells
Heard on this silent night.
No more children's letters,
That long brought me delight!"

"Gone Dasher, gone Dancer,
Gone Prancer, and Vixen,
Gone Comet, and Cupid,
And Donner, and Blitzen...
Hopes are dashed away,
Dashed away, dashed
Away all, for always…"

[Santa springs from his bench again, shaking gnarled, mitten-covered fists at the sky...]

"Outcast is Santa Claus,
Unwanted, despised;
Now the Grinch is belov'd
For his meanness and lies!
Ms. Claus kicked me out,
I've no place to call home,
She kept the North Pole house
But stuck me with the loan…
And alas, and alack,
The elves all turn traitor,
Making toys for cruel boys
Who bully, and wage war.
Rains of ash and coal fall
On tots' sweet little heads!
Kids dream visions of bombs,
Sleepless in their cold beds."

"No more twinkling eyes, or
Happy, jolly old souls...
No more milk and cookies,
Candy canes or sweet rolls!
No more Christmas pudding!
No more gift-wrapped toys!
No more squeals of delight
From the good girls and boys!
No longer peace on earth,
No good will toward men.
All is lost now, forever -
Good cheer is forbidden!"

["Do I believe this is happening?" I pinch myself... "Do I believe in Santa Claus?"  Santa crumbles onto his lonely park bench and bursts into a fresh round of tears.  It's too much; I can't watch in silence anymore, so I draw nearer and say...]

"Please, Santa, don't cry!
It's not so, sir, really!
You're not truly alone -
Come celebrate with me!
I'm going home to sing
Carols, and trim the tree,
Shout out loud a brazen
'Merry Christmas to me!'
Santa, have you heard of
Social disobedience?
Let's be free and merry…
Let's do common sense!"

And as we walked arm-in-arm away through the park, there arose through the night A gleeful refrain: "A freedom-loving Christmas to all, and to all a peaceable fight!"

*** With cheerful apologies to friends and readers who don't do Christmas! ***

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