Twas the night
before solstice and all through the co-op Not a creature was messing the calm
status quo up.
The children were
nestled all snug in their beds, Dreaming of lentils and warm whole-grain breads.
the winter that day after school By dancing and drumming and burning the Yule,
A more meaningful
gesture to honour the planet Than buying more trinkets for Mom or Aunt Janet,
Or choosing a
tree just to murder and stump it And dress it all up like a seasonal strumpet.
My lifemate and
I, having turned down the heat, Slipped under the covers for a well-deserved sleep,
When from out
on the lawn there came such a roar I fell from my futon and rolled to the floor.
I crawled to the
window and pulled back the latch, And muttered, "Aw, where is that Neighbourhood
I saw there below
through the murk of the night A sleigh and eight reindeer of non-standard height.
At the reins of
that sleigh sat a mean-hearted knave Who treated each deer like his personal slave.
I'd seen him before
in some ads for car loans, Plus fast food and soft drinks and cellular phones.
He must have cashed
in from his mercantile chores, Since self-satisfaction just oozed from his pores.
He called each
by name, as if he were right To treat them like humans, entrenching his might:
now Blitzen," and other such aliases, Showing his true Eurocentrical biases.
With a snap of
his fingers, away they all flew, Like lumberjacks served up a plate of tofu.
Up to the rooftop
they carried the sleigh (The holes in the shingles are there to this day).
Out bounded the
man, who went straight to the flue. I knew in an instant just what I should do.
my slippers, downstairs did I dash To see this trespasser emerge from the ash.
His clothes were
all covered with soot, but of course, From our wood-fueled alternative energy
Through the grime
I distinguished the make of his duds He was dressed all in fur, fairly dripping
"We're a cruelty-free
house!" I proclaimed with such heat He was startled and tripped on the logs
at his feet.
He stood back
up dazed, but with mirth in his eyes. It was then that I noticed his unhealthy
He was almost
as wide as when standing erect, A lover of fatty fried foods, I suspect.
But that wasn't
all to make sane persons choke: In his teeth sat a pipe that was belching out
I could scarcely
believe what invaded our house. This carcinogenic and overweight louse
Was so red in
the face from his energy spent, I expected a heart attack right there and then.
Behind him he
toted a red velvet bag Full to exploding with sinister swag.
He asked, "Where
is your tree?" with a face somewhat long. I said, "Out in the yard,
which is where it belongs."
will I put all the presents I've brought?" I looked at him squarely and said,
"Take the lot
frivolous people who think that they need To succumb to the sickness of commerce
joy comes from the act of consuming, Thus sending the stock of the retailers booming."
He blinked and
said, "Ho, ho, ho! But you're kidding." I gave him a stare that was
stern and forbidding.
need something with which to have fun? It's like childhood's over before it's
He looked in my
eyes for some sign of assent, But I strengthened my will and refused to relent.
plenty of fun," I cut to the gist, "And your mindless distractions have
never been missed.
CPR so that they can save lives, And go door-to-door for the used clothing drives.
renew, reuse and reveal For saving the planet a laudable zeal.
padlock themselves to a fence to protest Against nuclear power, we think they're
He said, "But
they're children lo, when do they play?" I countered, "Is that why you've
driven your sleigh,
joy to the hearts of each child and tot? All right, open your bag; let's see what
did as I'd asked and behold! A Malibu Barbie in a skirt made of gold.
that my girls will like playing with this, An icon of sexist, consumerist kitsch?
unnatural figure and airheaded grin, This trollop makes every girl yearn to be
up fad diets and bingeing and purging Instead of respecting her own body's urging
the shape that her body has found And rejoice to be lanky, short, skinny, or round."
Deep in his satchel
he searched for a toy, Saying, "This is a hit with most little boys."
And what did he
put in my trembling hand But a gun from the BrainBlasters Power Command!
"It's a 'hit,'
to be sure," I sneered in his face, "And a plague to infect the whole
grenades or some working bazookas To turn all of our kids into half-wit palookas?"
I seized on his
bag just to see for myself The filth being spread by this odious elf
An Easy-Bake Oven
ah, goddess, what perfidy! To hoodwink young girls into household captivity!
Plus an archery
play set with shafts that fly out, The very thing needed to put your eye out.
And toy metal
tractors, steam shovels, and cranes For tearing down woodlands and scarring the
like Monopoly, Pay Day, Tycoon, As if lessons in greed can't start up too soon.
And even more
weapons from BrainBlasters Co., Like cannons and nunchucks and ray guns that glow.
That's all I could
find in his red velvet sack Perverseness and mayhem to set us all back.
(But I did find
one book that caused me to ponder Some fine bedtime tales by a fellow named Garner.)
none of this," I announced in a huff, "No "business as usual"
"We sow in
our offspring more virtue than this. Your 'toys' offer some things they never
The big man's
expression was a trifle bereaved As he shouldered his pack and got ready to leave.
"I pity the
kids who grow up around here, Who're never permitted to be of good cheer,
allowed leisure for leisure's own sake, But must fret every minute it makes my
Don't pity our kids If they don't do as Macy's or Toys 'R' Us bids.
by their principles first and foremost And know what's important," to him
did I boast.
I meet them?" "Oh no, they're not here. They're up on the roof, liberating
Then Santa Claus
sputtered and pointed his finger But, mad as he was, he had no time to linger.
He flew up the
chimney like smoke from a fire, And up on the roof I heard voices get higher.
I ran outside
the co-op to see him react To my children's responsible, kind-hearted act.
He chased them
away, and disheartened, dismayed, He rehitched his reindeer (who'd docilely stayed).
I watched with
delight as he scooted off then. He'd be too embarrassed to come back again.
But with parting
disdain, do you know what he said, When this overweight huckster took off in his
enslaver, this exploiter of elves? "Happy Christmas to all, but get over