Much better than the original date-rape version.
Much better than the original date-rape version.
There’s a busker on the corner
With a beat-up old guitar
And he’s singing ‘bout some wise men
Who were following a star
And the night is getting chilly
And he’s missed a meal or two
Could be sadness; could be frostbite
But he’s looking rather blue
Stop and listen to his music,
And to really cheer him up,
You can drop some godless dollars in his cup
Walk a block or two up further
And you’ll hear a young quartet
With a sound that’s warm and cheerful
In the cold and dark and wet
On ahead, a hammered dulcimer
Plays carols in the night
And it almost feels Dickensian
The sound, the smells, the sight
It’s the warmth of shared humanity
That keeps the cold at bay
While you’re passing godless dollars on your way
And the local high school chorus
Dots the town in smaller groups
Going house-by-house and caroling
To neighbors from their stoops
And an actor reads a story
Of the Ghost of Christmas Past,
And it’s magic, for a moment,
Though of course, it cannot last
Christmas lasts, it seems, forever;
Scenes like this are much too short…
So you give them godless dollars for support.
With final exam season, I had forgotten all about last year’s project, de-godding dollar coins and using them to support the local musicians who are doing their best to make this season less of a chore for shoppers and businesspeople. I’d actually like to suggest that this could be “a thing”–that is, in the same way as bills stamped “gay money”, or 2-dollar bills for gun enthusiasts (for the 2nd amendment, geddit?), a noticeable but unobtrusive sign of atheist giving. It’s just as easy to drop a handful of coins into a guitar case as it is a handful of bills (and they won’t blow away!), plus you get to feel like Scrooge (or Scrooge McDuck), tossing coins at street urchins.
Just go to your bank and trade in some paper money for dollar coins, de-god them (an engraver, a Dremel tool, or a cold chisel would all work quite well), and give them out generously to the musicians and others you wish to support. (Yes, of course you can just take a sharpie to your bills, but they aren’t as noticeable–and it’s fun to see a musician who thinks you dropped in quarters realize that, nope, those were unanticipated dollars!
And if you are really lazy, just donate here, using the tip jar–I have pledged that all donations will be converted to de-godded coins (quarters stay in circulation longer, but dollars fit this plan better) and used to spread cephalopodmas cheer year-round.
I think I like this much more than Cyber Monday. It is, apparently, Giving Tuesday. Charities of all stripes are participating in the antidote to Black Friday, Gray Thursday, Local Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
There are thousands of wonderful charities to choose from. There is also a far less well-known opportunity, where the downside is that you have to trust my judgment and take my word as to the distribution of funds (I will make it transparent, I promise); the good news is, you get the collection of humorous, satirical, and semi-serious Christmas and “War Against Christmas” verses, so there’s something in it for you, too.
There is nothing at all in it for me. 100% of proceeds will go to charity.
Hmmm… it appears to be CyberMonday, if such a thing exists any more. Time was, Lulu would offer special discounts on Cyber Monday, so I was waiting for those so I could do this post right…. but it appears they are not (if they do, I will update immediately). The only thing they have is the code “FREESHIP” for free shipping on up to 14 items, and “CYBERBULK2013″ for 20% off of 15 or more items.
More importantly, they have information, on shipping deadlines:
And of course, here is the page with all the available cuttlebooks–the (War On) Christmas book with all proceeds going to charity, the latest compilation, the earlier compilation, and yes, some free downloads of the earliest stuff. You might want to wait a bit to see if Lulu is just slow on the draw, but (as per the shipping info) you don’t want to wait too long.
And yes, the “cuttlestuff” link up at the top of the page also leads you to cafepress, where the coolest logo in the world can be found on clothing, mugs, and more.
… and all proceeds going to charity.
So checking the site stats today, I note that it is the beginning of the season for searching google for “atheist christmas poem”, “atheist christmas cards”, “atheist xmas” and the like.
So I just thought I’d link again, to the only collection you need. Some 17 verses, 32 pages, and all proceeds going to charity (given that I won’t see the money for a couple of months after you buy, I am not naming a charity yet, but I will be transparent.)
And yes, if you didn’t see it, my second collection of verses is out–profits from this one are going to me. It, and all other options (including some free downloadable ones) may be found here.
Jolly old Saint Nicholas
Lean your ear this way
Sarah has a book to sell
Coming out today!
Christmas eve is coming soon
Under grave attack!
Baby Jesus, do not cry—
Sarah’s got Your back!
Sarah takes on atheists;
Shows them who is boss
Good-bye “Happy Holidays”
Hello, public cross!
Sarah will remind us all
What Christmastime is for:
Peace, and Love, and Brotherhood…
And manufactured war!
Santa is the enemy
Jesus is the lord
Sarah’s book is fifteen bucks—
Easy to afford
Christmas is commercialized
Everywhere you look—
Sarah is the antidote…
Better buy the book!
There once was a time, so the old fogeys say
There was no “Christmas Season”, just one Christmas day
There are history books into which we could delve
That say Christmas expanded—its days numbered twelve
It doesn’t seem strange now, to most of us living,
But Christmas, for some, begins right at Thanksgiving,
And the very next day is the day to start shopping,
For over a month, if you can, without stopping
This year, Venezuela, for best or for worst,
Declared Christmas began this past Friday, the first.
It’s officially Christmas—start decking the halls,
Make some punch and some fruitcake, and head for the malls
Where you’ll get Silent Night and Away in the Mangered,
Because everyone knows Christmastime is endangered…
When “The War Against Christmas” gets bloody and hot,
Just remember, this year, which side fired the first shot.
Via NPR (at above link):
Perhaps Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is taking a hint from big U.S. retailers: For the sake of happiness, Maduro said, he declared an early beginning to the Christmas season.
“Today, on this first day of November, we decided to declare the arrival of Christmas, because we want happiness for all people,” Maduro said.
Now, I forget–will Fox approve because Yay, more Christmas!? Or is this part of the commercialization of, secularization of, and thus destruction of Real Christmas? It’s getting hard to tell these days–like the Civil War, it’s brother against brother, Santa against Jesus, Three French Hens against Three Wise Men, redeeming mankind and saving souls against redeeming coupons and saving money.
All I know is, if I can get my damned cover art to work, this blog will be your one stop for all your Christmas and Cephalopodmas shopping needs.
A letter arrived in my mailbox today
From a special location so far, far away
I dropped all my duties to read it, because
The return label said it had come from “S. Claus”
I had written to Santa, some long time ago,
Addressed it and stamped it and walked through the snow
The letter was taken, and wasn’t returned
Which they would, if he hadn’t existed, I’ve learned.
“Dear good little … boy? Little girl? Little fish?
I know you did not get the gift that you wish;
I’m sorry that so many months have gone by
But I’m writing you now and I’m telling you why.
You wanted a pony—or was it a horse?
Could Santa have brought what you wanted? Of course!
The reason I didn’t, though you wish I had,
Is simple: You’ve really been horribly bad.
That’s right; it’s your fault, not that Santa’s a phony—
Of course I could bring you a horse (or a pony)
On my sleigh, even though there’s no snow in Atlanta,
Cos physics works different for me, cos I’m Santa.
There’s no time for the flying, much less for the landing,
So of course it’s too much for your small understanding;
I’m magic—I’m flying, with Dasher and Cupid—
You don’t understand, cos you’re bad and you’re stupid.
So yes, in a magical instant, I’m flying
Which skeptical you make a point of denying
And that’s why your name’s on the naughtiest list…
Because really and truly, I swear I exist.
Just think of the presents you’d get to receive
If you only repented and start to believe!
You could have had presents galore, all along…
If you hadn’t insisted on doing it wrong.
Now I’ve got to get going, so this is goodbye,
And you can be better, perhaps, if you try.
But… if you get nothing, despite what you do?
It’s still cos you’re bad, so I’ll blame it on you.
Benedict wrote his letter to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian atheist and mathematician who in 2011 wrote a book titled “Dear Pope, I’m Writing to You.” The book was Odifreddi’s reaction to Benedict’s classic “Introduction to Christianity,” perhaps his best-known work.
And the letter?
In Benedict’s letter, he takes Odifreddi to task for what he said was the “aggressiveness” of his book, and responds to many of the arguments with piqued criticism himself.
“What you say about the figure of Jesus isn’t worthy of your scientific standing,” wrote Benedict, who authored a highly praised, three-volume work on the Jesus Christ during his pontificate.
He similarly criticizes Odifreddi’s “religion of mathematics” as “empty” since it doesn’t even consider three fundamental themes for humanity: freedom, love and evil.
On evolution, he wrote: “If you want to substitute God with Nature, the question remains: What does this Nature consist of? Nowhere do you define it and it appears rather like an irrational divinity that doesn’t explain anything.”
Odifreddi doesn’t deserve a pony. But Santa is real.
Dateline: Late June, 2013
Once again, the War On Christmas sees the atheists attack,
But there’s something different this year—this year Christ is fighting back!
Let the godless and their minions rant and rave and do their worst,
Cos our strategies are changing—yes, we’re even striking first!
There’s a book that’s set for launching, and it’s just what you’d expect,
Sarah Palin taking aim at the politically correct.
So it’s festive and it’s jolly; it’s tradition, meant to please,
With first amendment platitudes in pidgin legalese
And in Texas, there’s a notion, and Rick Perry says it’s his,
Making “Merry Christmas” legal which it… um… already is
But this pandering to Christians, even minuscule amounts
Makes the martyrs feel much better, and of course that’s all that counts.
Now I hear that Bill O’Reilly wonders where religion went,
When it’s tough to be a Christian (in the 80-plus percent)
Bill-O wants a Christian country, so it’s worth our fighting for
Which explains the man’s obsession with a six-month Christmas War
Here, it’s summer—barely summer—and the sun is beating down
And there’s no sign yet of Christmas in our sleepy little town
In the churches, stores, and neighborhoods, if Christmastime you seek,
Then you’re just a little early… Christmas season starts next week.
The war on Christmas gets earlier every year! I swear, though, it’s not my fault. This time, it’s a Christmas troika–Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Bill O’Reilly are harnessed up and pulling their sleigh through… the heat and humidity of summer.
‘Twas the night before—really, the name doesn’t matter—
The goose we’d be roasting just couldn’t be fatter;
We’d trimmed out the tree, feeling ever-so-jolly,
The mistletoe shimmered, and so did the holly
The Yule-log was glowing; each flame, and each ember
Reminded us all it was late in December
In the house, we were warm, but it can’t be denied
While inside we were cozy, ‘twas freezing outside
This Christmas was different from Christmas of old
We were safe from the dark; we were safe from the cold
We were safe from the worries of Christmases past
Why, our worry was whether the cookies would last!
No honest Bob Cratchit, no poor Tiny Tim
No crutches to show us his future was dim
No polio, measles, pertussis, or poxes,
Just bountiful dinners and brightly wrapped boxes
The wine wasn’t mulled, and the rum wasn’t buttered,
The double-glazed windows weren’t, technically, shuttered—
They held out the wind, and they held out the snow,
So the house remained cozy at twenty below
A cold that the furnace could easily handle;
No fire was needed, ‘cept maybe a candle.
Though the ancients knew this was the longest of nights,
When the sunset arrived, we just flicked on the lights
Our Christmas, our solstice—midwinter, or Yule
Is the work of the present, not past, as a rule;
We spend it with those whom we love, as we should,
We invited them here. And, you know… that is good.
They are here cos we love them. No need to apply
The religious proscriptions of eras gone by
We’re not at some church, out of blind obligation,
But home—where the heart is—in fun celebration
Nostalgia is nice, but the malcontent masses
Are looking behind them with rose-colored glasses
At Christmases, really, that never existed—
Their view of the past is a little bit twisted—
Dickensian stories with outdated morals
Cannot be the answer to modern-day quarrels
If you have a view of what Christmas is for,
And see my view is different… don’t call it a war!
A modern-day Christmas should not be the same
As the ancient traditions that share just its name;
These myths you’ve been handed? These stories you’re told?
I suspect you are less than two thousand years old!
Or even the hundreds, twixt Dickens and us,
That lets you see Christmas as worth all the fuss.
The Christmas you know hasn’t been here that long,
So it’s silly to think that we’re doing it wrong
And why should it matter what Christmas once meant?
Cos it’s ours now, to honor or just re-invent!
I’m keeping the family, losing the Christ,
Giving gifts (just a few, and those reasonably priced)
We’ll meet round the table, and not in the church
Feeling humbled, a bit, by our privileged perch.
So remember the past, but no matter how pleasant,
It can never compete with this Christmas, the present.