Twas the night before Christmas and as was his stead
Santa went off with his gift-laden sled.
With toys for the tots and great gifts for the rest,
He was certain they’d all feel joyous and blessed.
He hit Canada first in his usual way.
Then he headed due south toward the great USA.
Such a beautiful place, full of rivers and trees
And a people accustomed to relative ease.
Oh sure they had problems, sure things had turned sour
But all told they were still a great cultural power.
Their standard of living so enviable,
They might not even notice their stockings are full.
Yes, the great USA with its can-do élan
Would have one special Christmas when they met the dawn.
He swept down through Maine, took the New Hampshire fork
And delivered his way into Upstate New York.
As he fell to a rooftop all covered in snow,
He heard loud, angry voices contesting below.
A bonfire blazed near the old village green,
Where two nincompoop neighbors were causing a scene.
“You are not welcome here, so it isn’t your call!
We will say ‘Merry Christmas’ or nothing at all!”
“You black-hearted bigot! You ignorant Hun!
‘Happy Holidays’ values us each every one!”
“You commie fanatic!”
“You fascist buffoon!”
“You can go straight to Hell!”
“Yeah. We’ll see you there soon!”
So laying his finger aside of his nose
He pulled back on the reins and his sleigh slowly rose.
He drove down to the green in his bright red attire
And settled his reindeer right next to the fire.
Jolly St. Nick on his Christmas Eve nights
Had not one ounce of patience for screaming or fights.
“Ho Ho Ho!” said St. Nick. “What’s the trouble, you guys?
You will wake up the kids. You will spoil their surprise.
Oh, Come All Ye Faithful? Fa La? Midnight Clear?
All this yapping is damaging my Christmas cheer.
So what do you say? Just head off to your beds
And let visions of Krispy Kremes dance in your heads.”
And with that old St. Nick wheeled back toward his sleigh,
But he took not one step, ere he heard someone say. . .
“Hey, Fatso!” they said.
“Hey, you corpulent toad!”
“Who asked you?”
“Hit the bricks!”
“Take a hike!”
“Hit the road!
“We have freedom of speech!”
“We have god-given rights!”
“And we have every right to keep fighting our fights!”
“We don’t care how you moan.”
“We don’t mind if you pout!”
“Just deliver our booty and get the Hell out!”
“Deliver your booty?” and with that he turned.
His cheeks freshly sooty, his eyes how they burned.
“It’s just–” “Ssh!” said St. Nick.
“I’ve let you two talk, and now I’ll have my say.”
Then he took off his spectacles, cleaning each glass.
He would quiet things down, or he’d kick him some ass.
He strode up to the jerks who’d been haughty and loud
Then squeezed in between them and spoke to the crowd.
“I’m not trying to preach. Please don’t think ill of me.
Mrs. Claus watches Maury; I love TMZ!
But by some stroke of luck I can soar through the air
And a guy can see things much more clearly up there.
“For decades I’ve heard guys like this prattle on.
And others take up their crusade when the’ve gone.
They have always been here–all their spittle and phlegm.
The difference is lately you’re listening to them.
Is it jobless statistics? The wars? Rising tides?
Where you used to just laugh, now you’re choosing up sides.
Once you’d lose some and win some and come back for more?
Now you lose one and panic and deadbolt the door.
On fascist, on commie, on Arab, on gay.
On ACORN, on NAFTA and on NRA!
Be they top of the heap or the least little guys.
There is something in each you have learned to despise.
You might not respect the commander-in-chief,
But he isn’t a monster or traitor or thief.
He’s just trying to do the best job he can do.
And the guy there before him? He tried like that too.
Not all rich folks are crooks, nor all poor on the take.
They’re just people like you all, for criminy’s sake.
There’s a fat load of profit in ginning up fears
And it’s stock has been rising for these past few years.
Folks I’m here to tell you just kiss them goodbye.
Whatever they sell you you don’t have to buy.
Seek your neighbor’s advice; don’t cascade him with blame.
For each way he is different he’s eight ways the same.”
Then St. Nick gently bowed, gave his forehead a wipe
And took a slight draw on his old meerschaum pipe.
“Hey, the one thing I’ve learned over hundreds of years?
There’s less truth in our tongues than there is in our ears.
If your God’s in his heaven, your motives are pure,
You’ve no cause to worry, your world will endure.
That neighbor you’ve lately been dousing with shame
Will come through when you need him–and you’ll do the same.”
And with that he retired to his team and his cache
And flew up to the sky to deliver his stash.
And I heard him exclaim as he rose out of sight…
“Peace on earth’s at your core, not your left or your right.”