Once again, I’m reposting this oldie but goodie. It’s Christmas Eve, and like many of you, I can’t wait to bid 2020 goodbye and good riddance. Marooned at home with my husband, my dog and my cat, I’ve been surprisingly cheerful all year, but I haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit. But for old time’s sake, here’s the intro to the poem I wrote two years ago. It brings back fond memories.
Christmas is just over two weeks away, and the holiday spirit is growing on me. I haven’t posted here since August, and in the meantime I had a near-death experience. Literally: a subdural hematoma brought me close to death’s door, and I’m grateful to be alive. More on that later. But there have been past Christmases when I was mired in depression or feeling very “bah humbug” about the holidays. I’m well aware that this season conjures up a wide range of emotions in shades from joy to despair, and that December can be a problematic time for many people, especially those living alone or with emotional, physical or financial problems – and doesn’t that include just about everybody?
I’ve published this poem before, but I believe it deserves an encore. Last year I sang it at the twentieth anniversary of the Third Thursday poetry night that Dan Wilcox has been hosting ever since 1997. Amazingly, in all that time he’s only missed one month. In what’s become an annual December tradition, he dons a red hat and plays “Sanity Claus,” asking all the poets, male and female, to sit on his lap (or more accurately his knee), whereupon he gift them with a poetry book or journal from his bountiful collection. (This year, with all the weirdness going on in our ever more puritanical country, we all promised beforehand not to sue him for sexual harassment.)
On my car radio every year, even the country station plays Andy Williams’s inescapable “Most Wonderful Time of the Year. ” Walking my dog Sirius by the lake four years ago, it occurred to me that the song was well overdue for parody, and by the time he’d finished pooping, I had the beginning of these lyrics in my head. Feel free to borrow them for your local sing-along.
OVER-HYPED TIME OF THE YEAR
It’s the most over-hyped time of the year.
So you’d better be happy, and best make it snappy
Or people will jeer.
It’s the most over-hyped time of the year.
All your family will want lots of gifts.
So you’d better go shopping, and don’t dream of stopping
Or you’ll cause a rift
If you don’t spring for pricey new gifts.
There’ll be parties each night and if you’re not invited,
Then you can just stay home and mope.
Drink your brandy-spiked eggnog till you’re in a deep fog.
You’ll wake up a hung-over dope!
It’s the season they sing about snow.
But you can’t shovel white stuff ‘less you’ve got the right stuff.
Head south now, just go –
Oops, you can’t, ‘cause you don’t have the dough.
Hang those lights, deck those halls. If being cheery seems false,
Just keep wearing that shit-eating grin.
This will pass soon enough, just hang in and stay tough
Till the January bills trickle in!
(dramatic key change)
But for now, eat and drink, have no fear.
Though this season’s depressing, more turkey and dressing
Will fill you with cheer,
And you’ll gain ten more pounds for New Year!
* For more about the Capital Region’s vibrant poetry scene, visit www.albanypoets.com. Highlights include Poets Speak Loud, hosted by Mary Panza the last Monday of every month, although they’re taking a break for Christmas this Monday
**The song was written by Edward Pola and George Wyle for the Andy Williams TV show and premiered in 1963. It wasn’t an overnight smash, but he sang it every year and it slowly gained popularity. Now, love it or hate it, it ranks among the top ten Christmas songs. Andy Williams died in September, 2012.
How are you faring this holiday season? I’d love to hear from you. And if you haven’t already, please subscribe so that you won’t miss any of my new posts. I’ve got lots of exciting news to share, and you won’t want to miss anything.
M. E. Kemp says
I confess I love this time of the year – sent out Xmas cards early, love photos of tots lining my bureau (don’t have a fireplace, darn it!) love Xmas lunches with friends, love the COOKIES, love Xmas greens, love the snow this year – I need some of Julie’s eggnog to make it complete!