Nov 22 2008

The War (on Christmas) Comes Early

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Newfoundland islands,
The sands of Iran to the Panama isthmus;
From Outback Australia to Inverness Highlands
It’s time to take arms in the War Against Christmas!

My weapons are mistletoe, Christmas trees, holly,
A yule-log, and caroling out in the snow;
Sleigh-rides and snowball-fights, eggnog and Jolly
Old Santa Claus, laughing his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

We’ll make them forget all the Truth of the season—
The sacrifice planned by a god up above—
And have them believing some bastardized reason
Like giving, or kindness, or caring or love!

I’ll cruelly and callously help out a stranger
Who’s down on his luck or has suffered some loss,
I won’t even speak of the babe in the manger
Whom God sent to Earth to get nailed to a cross;

When the winds of December conspire to freeze us
I’ll help collect sweaters and coats for the poor,
Neglecting to make any mention of Jesus,
Whose torture is really what Christmas is for.

My hatred of Christmas will focus my labors
On weaving an atheist fabric of lies—
For instance, I’m giving to all of my neighbors
Gift baskets, cookies, and fruitcakes and pies!

I’ll say “Merry Christmas!” I’ll say “Season’s Greetings!”
I’ll say “Happy Holidays—Joyous Noel!”
Intending of course, that with each of these meetings
The Truth About Christmas can just go to hell.

The truth is that Christmas is not about presents
It’s no time for songs, It’s not time to be nice
It’s not time for feasting on turkeys or pheasants—
It’s sin, and redemption by blood sacrifice.

No time to be jolly; no time to be merry
It’s time to be solemn, and grim, and devout!
The heathens might find it depressing or scary
But that is what Christmas is truly about.

Yes, Jesus is really the ultimate reason
And Christmas is really redemption and sin;
The war against Christmas is early this season—
For God’s sake, let’s hope that the atheists win!

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  1. 1
    Mikayla Starstuff

    That is great! Mind if I post a portion of that on my blog, and link back here for the rest?

  2. 2

    Please feel free! That’s why they are here, I suppose…

  3. 3

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through slush, Till on the twinkling lights we turned our backs And towards our distant cars began to trudge. Men shopped asleep. Many had spent their cash But bought on credit. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the crash Of tired, bawling children that had dropped behind.Nog! Nog! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of drinking, Draining the festive tumblers just in time; But someone still was going out and shopping, And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . . Dim, through the candy canes and colored light, As under green chai tea, I saw him dropping. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, muttering, cursing, shopping. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the debt that we soon found him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could see, at every month, accounts Drained dry of each last hard-earned dollar,Obscene as cancer, bitter as the mounts Of pale riders, laboring under heavy collar, My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for designer pants, The old Lie; Adeste fideles, Laetit triumphants!

  4. 4

    Bravo, Howard!*applauds, wipes tear from eye*

  5. 5

    Cuttlefish, that was amazing!You are spectacular.Could you do a dramatic reading of your poem and post it? Would you mind if I made a dramatic reading of it, and posted it on the Internet, with a link back to your website?

  6. 6
    Mike Haubrich, FCD

    Poetry is the reason for the season!

  7. 7

    Thanks for these poems. Turn of phrase is a rare gift and a treat to see done well.

  8. 8

    Teleprompter–feel free to give it a go; I won’t, but I have loved the readings that The Modest Agnostic has done of a few of my verses. MH,FCD–I see you have grasped my cunning plan! Very good disinfo!1minionsopinion–thanks, but I hear that’s just one minion’s opinion…

  9. 9

    Since you like the last one, here’s another pastiche from the Great War on Christmas, in the same vein:In Target’s lot the trolleys rollBetween the spaces row on row,That mark our place; and in the airRecordings of some festive airScarce heard amid the bells below.We are the Godless. Days agoWe laughed, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved and were loved, and now we parkIn Target’s lot.Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwThis card to use until you drop.If ye break faith with us who shopWe shall not sleep, though trolleys rollIn Target’s lot.

  10. 10

    Cuttlefish, thank you very much.Here is the link for the video of my reading of your poem:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcssjgN0wUcI put up links to your blog and to Pharyngula in the sidebar.

  11. 11

    You, sir, are a wordsmith of the highest caliber.

  12. 12

    Hi DC!I got my two copies of your book in the mail today. It’s been a crazy busy day, so I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. But I will take it to bed with me tonight.

  13. 13

    Oh, wow, Makita! Thanks!(FWIW, your name makes me smile; “Makita” was the name of the local hardware store’s resident cat, who kept the store mouse-free for many many years.)

  14. 14

    Prudence, at Unattributable… I wish I could comment directly at your site; I hope you read this. You label my verse “A Secular Humanist’s Poem For Christmas” … I hate to tell you, but I am not a Secular Humanist. I have absolutely nothing against Secular Humanists, but I have never identified myself as one, nor do I speak for Secular Humanists.

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