What's Tony Thinking

Christmas Poetry for the Ironically Inclined


It’s possible to OD on sweetness and sentimentality just now. So here are a few short Christmas poems I like that are of an ironical nature, palette cleansers so to speak.

I poked fun at Christmas letters in my last sermon. Here’s a poem by John M. Morris on the genre . . .

The Christmas Letter

Wherever you are when you receive this letter
I write to say we are still ourselves
in the same place
and hope you are the same.

The dead have died as you know
and will never get better,
and the children are boys and girls
of their several ages and names.

So in closing I send you our love
and hope to hear from you soon.
There is never a time
like the present. It lasts forever
wherever you are. As ever I remain.


Then here’s one on Christmas trees by Chris Green. There actually are Christmas trees for sale here in Mexico, but not very many and not the “lots” of trees one sees up north. Here one tends to see “lots” of poinsettias.

Christmas Tree Lots

Christmas trees lined like war refugees,
a fallen army made to stand in their greens.
Cut down at the foot, on their last leg,

they pull themselves up, arms raised.
We drop them like wood;
tied, they are driven through the streets,

dragged through the door, cornered
in a room, given a single blanket,
only water to drink, surrounded by joy.

Forced to wear a gaudy gold star,
to surrender their pride,
they do their best to look alive.


And, to complete this festive triptych, one for the day after Christmas, a.k.a. the second day of Christmas by Kenn Nesbitt

December 26

A BB gun.
A model plane.
A basketball.
A ’lectric train.
A bicycle.
A cowboy hat.
A comic book.
A baseball bat.
A deck of cards.
A science kit.
A racing car.
A catcher’s mitt.
So that’s my list
of everything
that Santa Claus
forgot to bring.


I will say, in closing this short missive, that I actually quite enjoyed the Norwegian series “A Storm for Christmas,” now on Netflix, which was in fact rather sweet and sentimental in a 21st century irony-laden sort of way. Check it out.


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