hat, it’s December already? Wasn’t it just Halloween? Oh yes, every day is Halloween in my head. I think I do recall something about Thanksgiving whizzing by, now that I mention it. Still, it can’t be Christmas! I haven’t done any of the usual things, those traditional trappings that accompany the season. Haven’t decorated a tree (wait, there is the small wire one on a shelf above my desk — just a minute — okay, scratch that off the list). Haven’t been hearing carols (well, there might’ve been a few snippets in T.V. shows). Haven’t watched a steady stream of holiday movies (I might see some online — soon, very soon). Haven’t joined the jangling mangling throng of shoppers (so of course I haven’t wrapped gifts, which takes care of the next item). Haven’t mailed cards (good grief, I haven’t even bought cards yet). Wow, I am exceptionally behind!

What have I been doing, if not observing such practices?

Writing, I guess. It’s what I generally do day in and day out. It keeps me sane to some extent. I suppose that contributes a measure of merit to the world. We should all strive for that, we really should.

Pondering the meaning of the universe? Nope, I leave that for the birds to decide.

Pondering my New Year’s resolution? Way too many choices.

But I might ponder the meaning of this whole merry mad rush known as Christmastime. Yes, I might do that since I’ve done so little else to mark the occasion.

Let me commence with a disclaimer. These days you can’t be too careful. Things have changed, drastically. People get upset — even trigger-happy — over so many things. Just about anything, it seems, because there are different angles to look at a thing and most things may be offensive to somebody somewhere for some reason! I doubt I can cover every angle, but I’ll try my best: It is not the author’s intent or purpose to injure or omit or otherwise inflame any group or individual by the wording and images and values discussed herein.

Sound technical enough?

I apologize to anyone offended by my tone, as well. Tones can be alarming, difficult to ignore. Even silent ones. It is best, I find, to wear earplugs and eye patches in public or private so as to be fairly tone-deaf. Of course, that works for me but I am not by any means attempting to insinuate that you should do so yourself. I did not especially advise you to operate a motor vehicle or bicycle or walk across a street in such a manner.

Phew, that was close! Hope I didn’t leave anything out.

I’m growing a bit anxious over this entire disclaiming business. I think I should move on.

Most people around the globe are probably familiar with the themes and typical iconic manifestations and festoonings of this season.

With the Internet, exposure to other cultures has spread more than ever regardless of one’s particular beliefs and customs. Therefore, I think it is safe to make this assumption. Many, whatever their creed and preferences, cannot help but be amused or intrigued or swept up into the gala, the fantasy, the revelry of it all. What’s not to love about a jovial white-bearded saint delivering gifts to children? Cute pointy-eared toymakers happily mass-producing playthings without caring about profit margins and wages? Colored lights and whimsical or stunning decorations adorning houses and lanes? People smiling, bustling about with an extra sense of goodwill and a twinkle in their eye? You’ve gotta love it, even if your last name happens to be Scrooge, because it’s something pretty downright rare and extraordinary!

The true meaning behind it all, of course, has to do with a star and the birth of a baby. This story of humble yet magical origins, whether you accept it or not, is responsible for a major occurrence. For augmenting a colossal annual shift and ripple in the tide of Mankind, despite how jaded and jaundiced we may or may not have become.

Think about it. What other event has touched so many, inspired such a spirit of giving and caring and warmth and community? I can’t think of anything that quite compares. Thus, it is certainly something worthy of celebration, or at the very least respect — whatever one’s own beliefs; whichever traditions are honored and embraced; however involved with decorating and festivities you are (or aren’t). Perhaps it simply instills a spark of wonder. A fondness for some aspect, some happy quality that fills the air along with the heart this time of year like the fragrance of cookies baking in an oven.

I, personally, hope we never lose that spirit — and the goal of peace on earth — because it is truly a joy and a miracle to behold. It is the direction a sane and civilized society should be headed, rather than the divisiveness and touchiness so prevalent these days. But I do see hope, I do see the signs of progress. It is possible to believe in such a world. And that’s what Christmas has accomplished for everyone, everywhere, I feel. It has brought us closer by representing the shining best of humanity — beyond commercialism and holiday stress; aside from religious differences, cultural distinctions — the pure unrefined best that we as one race are capable of.

Well, now that I’ve said what I had to say, it’s time to start my next column: What, it’s January already? It can’t be! I’m still in Twenty Ten!

Oops, I almost forgot. I was supposed to write some poems first. I’ll add that to my list . . .


Does a yule have a rule?

Will it make a babe drool?

Could it ride on a mule?

Cause a yarn to unspool?


I’m addressing the topic

Is it rather myopic?

Does it live in a tropic?

Would it look microscopic?


If I write yuleogies

Must I still eat my peas?

Do I have to say please?

Will the word make me wheeze?


Are there yules in Hong Kong

Or while playing ping pong?

Does it have a theme song?

Will it take very long?


Can a yuletide be folded?

When left out is it moulded?

Does it ever get scolded?

Feel warm when it’s holded?


Do yules hibernate?

Could they fit through a grate?

Might they ever run late?

Are they fun to inflate?


If we’re very unyuly

Is it like being truly

Or slightly unduly?

Am I just being foolly?


I have heard of such things

And there might’ve been kings

For the sound of it rings

Like a bell when it dings


If traditions are lost

There is always a cost

Every land is embossed

By the ways they are crossed


I don’t think it’s a crime

To enjoy the yuletime

But if it rattles your chime

Please pardon my rhyme.


In contrast to the mistletude

Of blithely boisterous gifts and food

The lights, the love, the giddy gladding

Of all things nice and sweet and addling —

At times it’s wise to wander off

To maund awry, astray, ascoff

Towards rapier tidings, dismal treats

Leftover from the plundered streets

Of mid-night ghoulish gallivanting

Ravid frothing garpled ranting

Let’s keep the spirits fed and feisties

Amoon, agoon, aggrievent viceties

For inwith lore of dimmer annals

The rusted tomes of wretched channels

One finds the season ’tis less jolly

Abundant lurk the tales of folly

Of naughty woes, undainty bows

Hell-bound with gruesome glee in rows

Like markers for a yard of graves

Wrapped tightly by the grimmest knaves

Where Santa wears a blacker coat

And has an evil chuckling gloat

Where children are not safe these nights

When down the chimney he alights

Far worse than what lies under beds

Whilst fetid visions dance through heads

He rides to houses for a meal

Not cookies, souls and hearts to steal

His sleigh dragged by nine starving hounds

His sack a dripping mess and mound

The letters of this ogre’s name:

Not Santa — Satan is his fame

Whatever he has been known by

You’d best behave or you will fry

And then you’ll freeze and wish for hot

A scrap of peace or hope there’s not

Just thick regrets and bitter ire

Eternal cold and pain and fire

So have a merry cup of wist

And stay off Santa’s Dark Christmas list.


There was a town of renown

In the county of Pinster

Where dwelt a small people called

The Mad Elves Of Minster


They were once rather merry

Till just one became rotten

And spoiled the whole bunch

Till that’s how they’d all gotten


It began with a rat

Who crept into their village

To eat all their grain

Every crumb would he pillage


The town crier spied him

And yelped at the varmint

Who chomped the elf’s toe

With rat teeth did he harm it


The bitten would holler

Oh, he screamed bloody murder

Awaking the bakers

Every goat and sheepherder


The weavers grew angry

The milkmaids took it bad

Being summoned too early

Drove the whole city mad


Now the weavers would milk

Thus the milkers must spin

The shepherds watched goats

And vice versa set in


Miners baked mud pies

And scones out of stone

Their muffins were morbid

From pond scum and bone


Pastries were putrid

The cakes were no sweeter

The batter didn’t matter

To the maker or eater


While bakers below them

Carved faces on walls

Rocking and rolling

Through underground halls


The crier was silent

The mayor just fumed

Old ladies were rabid

Old guys simply loomed


Thieves turned to givers

The givers had to take

Whereas healers and ailers

Both took a long break


The only one normal

Not acting insane

Was the verminous rat

Who kept munching their grain


Before they all knew

A rumor had spread

That these Mad Elves Of Minster

Were not right in the head


If you’re ever in Pinster

Veer clear like the flu

Of that wee elven hamlet

Where the converse is true.


You can feed one to a monkey

Slip and slide across a floor

Hurl them like a boomerang

Give bananas to the poor

Express them to the Orient

Fly them to the moon

Have banana-nog at Christmas

And you’ll feel much better soon

Wear bananas on your hat

Or grow them in a pot

Serve them fried with lots of ketchup

And be sure to eat a lot

Build a boat out of bananas

Or a raft if you prefer

Be ambitious, try a ship

Sculpt the statue of a blur

Paint them in a portrait

Then hang them on display

Be sure their eyes don’t trail you

As you move out of the way

Free them from confinement

Campaign for their release

Send them to a friend

Who could use some elbow grease

Go bananas over something

While you visit an asylum

They’ll invite you to remain

And I dare you to defy ’em.


Far galaxy striders

Like leggedy spiders

Once landed in furtive droves

The little green men

Swarmed hillock and den

Swiping gingerbread by the loaves

All impish and knavish

A trifle tad cravish

Collecting odd ends and parts

They built a workshop

On the world near the top

Then proceeded to wield their smarts

Abducting a fellow

Quite pleasantly mellow

To pose as their leader in case

Any human suspected

They were lost, misdirected

And landed from outer space!


We know them as elves

Though ’tis not their true selves

For they hail from a distant earth

As sure as a fox

If you wind up a box

They will spring out as if in mirth

Stretching grins that are plastic

With gazes gone spastic

These elvish green men wearing tights

Offer goodies that giggle

Bright wrappings that wiggle

And bagfuls of kiddie delights

Turn no back on this folk

For it isn’t a joke

They have come to collect our smiles

On happy they feed

With a slurpelous greed

Glomming children’s joy with their wiles!


They are sneaky and green

They can even turn mean

If you fail to surrender a chuckle

They may dance and may sing

Then send Nicholas to bring

Back your jubilance using some knuckle

So be careful near holly

If you’re feeling too jolly

Stay away from the chimney at night

Or Kris Kringle may jingle

And nab your glad tingle

And all you’ll have left is the sight

Of those little elf men

Jigging gaily again

As they come back to rob you blind

You won’t know what you’ve seen

If they’re red or they’re green

You might think you were losing your mind!

~ Published ~
December 20, 2010

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