December 2010
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What ever happened to Christmas?

By Galen Larson

What happened to Christmas? – now the “holiday season.”
A time that has lost its original reason.
No more holy night, peace on earth, goodwill toward men
As we keep sending troops to Afghanistan.

What is that sound? Is that sleigh bells a-ringing?
No, just the busy cash registers ca-chinging.
The TV abounds with corporate pitchmen Hawking cheap goods to help out the rich men.
Nothing was made in the old USA. What happened to Christmas on this holy day?

Black Friday sales – oh, what a joy.
Elbowing each other for the latest hot toy.
We shiver in line all night like dull sheep
To get an HDTV at a price that’s real cheap.

Sale madness abounds, so we must dash around
Running our credit card into the ground.
Or go online shopping – a way set aside
For those too lazy to get off their back side.

Many years have passed, many sermons were given
About a virgin birth and a child from heaven
Greeted with gifts of incense and myrrh –
All turned into a quest for diamonds and fur.

What happened to Christmas? It became a charade.
Football, feasts and Santa parades.
But if St. Nicholas really did come,
Our kids would all say, “That’s so dumb,
Who is this guy? Some kind of bum?
The real Santa sits at the mall chewing gum
To cover his whiskey breath. You can’t fool us!
His chair is in front of the old Orange Julius.”

Many preachers of sermons in years long past
Tried to woo us from worshiping the golden calf.
Now we no longer battle our inner greed
IPods and cell phones are all that we need –
Not kindness or charity, that spirit of giving
That transforms just existing into truly living.

We once cared about others who had little or none,
But to think of them now just spoils our fun.
We whine, “I’m so poor!” if we don’t own a fleet,
And our home is under four thousand square feet.

So God bless the strip malls and all the big chains
Forged with links of envy and workingclass pain.
Keep your smile fixed in place, all shiny and white.
Merry shopping to all, and to all a good night.

Galen Larson writes from rural Montezuma County, Colo.


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