24 December 2006 A Christmas Thing

Twas 48 hours 'fore Christmas, and all through the day,
children searched for the presents
they knew were hidden away
by their parents who didn't
want Johnny sad
when both he and Sally were, by Santa, deemed bad.

Santa had little work
for his "Good" list was short.
So he sat at his bench and came up with a plan
to try to save Christmas, thinking
"One must do what one can."

So Santa made a deal
for a good price with bad men,
to buy all the coal that he'd need by night's end.
He'd teach the world:
Christmas was so much more than just toys —
despite what was thought
by all the bad girls and boys.

So Claus got his coal,
filled his sleigh to the brim,
grabbed his pipe and his pen,
and 'gan writing notes with a grin.

As dusk fell, Santa took off to the sky
to circle the globe
and make children cry.
He wasn't a mean man —
oh quite the contrary —
but in this day and age
e'en Santa can be only so merry.

The children were nestled
all snug in their beds
while visions of consumption danced in their heads.
"Christmas is for giving,"
Kris Kringle justified to himself,
"so make the children give!"
thought the jolly old elf.

Claus came up to a house,
its lights twinkling merry,
alighted on the roof
and with a grin like Jim Carrey
slid down the chimney
with his sack full of coal
and exchanged all the presents
for his form of black gold.

He grabbed the Xbox and the Nintendo Wii
nestled next to the package holding a PlayStation Three.
He took all the iPods,
the video games, DVDs,
and instead placed the coal
where presents were thought to be.

Not a scarf
not a CD
not a piece of jewelry was left.
All packed away on his sleigh
without a clue to the theft.

Except for the coal
and the one little note
Santa left at each house,
signed simply S.C.,
to explain to the children
why he'd committed the deed.

"Dear little children,"
the note it did read.
"I've taken your toys,
like the Grinch from the movies,
because you've forgotten Christmas —
except for the goodies.
You've forgotten to be nice
and forgotten how to share.
You've forgotten your please's,
your thank you's,
and sorry's.
You've forgotten your elders,
the dishes,
and to feed your dog Marty.
Because of all this
I've taken your games,
and in their empty place
I've left a large lump of coal
to aid in reminding you
of past indiscretions,
and so you'll be better next year.
Hope you've learned your lessons."

The children awoke
and raised such a clatter,
parents rushed down the stairs
to see what was the matter.

No presents,
no trinkets
and no DVDs;
no games
or fine clothing
were hidden under the tree.

Just a note and some coal,
leaving parents so angry,
giv'n the money they spent
trying to keep their kids happy.

"A particle joke,"
A dad said aloud.
"Perhaps crafty thieves —
I'll call 911!
We'll still have Christmas.
So stop crying... please?"

The police could do nothing,
for no culprit existed.
And what could they do?
All the toys had gone missing.
The only lead they had
was one eBay shopper
Who was selling lots of it,
No matter what you were after.