Thursday, December 17, 2020

An Edelweiss Christmas

I write this while sitting in front of my woodstove during the first major snow storm of the season, which has come just in time to ensure we have a white Christmas. That is the only thing that feels normal about this Christmas.

No parties or concerts or shopping. No gathering with believers to usher in Advent by singing “O Come, O Come, Immanuel.” No Christmas caroling. No candlelight service singing “Silent Night.” No large family gathering on Christmas Day to exchange gifts. It feels like the Grinch has succeeded in stealing Christmas this year.

Pandemic and politics have dominated the season. Instead of peace and joy there is ongoing anxiety about the future of our country. Hundreds of thousands more American may die before COVID is finally defeated. At the same time anti-democratic forces in our country seek to undermine our democracy and destroy our beloved freedoms. The Sound of Music with its backdrop in fascist Austria suddenly seems like a possibility in our own land in future years.

A New Hampshire state representative and school board member from a nearby town posted anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda online this week. There have been calls for her resignation, but she has refused to step down. She has not apologized for the content of the post, but has only made excuses. A lawyer and fellow Republican defended her, saying she did nothing wrong. How did we get here? No wonder my emotions are not in sync with the holiday spirit! Where is the peace and joy and love?

On the other hand, perhaps my emotions are more in sync with the spirit of Christmas than I realize. The first Christmas took place in a very stressful time. It happened during military occupation by an authoritarian regime, who ruled Palestine with the traitorous collaboration of religious leaders. After the first Christmas the local autocrat sent in troops to slaughter children in the streets of Bethlehem to preserve law and order.

Perhaps the circumstances of Christmas this year are not an obstacle to the celebration of Christmas. Perhaps they are an aid to seeing what Christmas is really about. Perhaps the political and societal turmoil of our time gives us insight into what Christmas is really about.

Christmas is not about the cultural and religious embellishments that have smothered the holiday over the years. It is not about Hallmark sentimentality. It is the celebration of the birth of a controversial leader who identified with the poor and outcasts of society, as represented by the shepherds who attended his birth. As a young man he was executed by the government and religious leaders for treason and blasphemy.

Not much has changed. The powers of moral and spiritual darkness always lurk at the fringes of human civilization and seek to rule. Occasionally they dominate a culture and control the government and religious establishment. But as the apostle John’s Christmas poem says, darkness will not ultimately win.  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.”  That is what we celebrate at Christmas. Anyone up for a chorus of Edelweiss? 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

How the Trump Stole Inauguration Day

Every Dem down in Demville liked Inauguration Day a lot.

But the Trump, who lives in the White House, Did NOT!

The Trump hated Inauguration … The whole Inauguration season!

It was because he could no longer be prez, that’s the reason.


It was also his head wasn't screwed on just right.

It was perhaps also that his briefs were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all,

May have been that his brain was two sizes too small.


Whatever the reason, his briefs or his brain,

He stood there on Inauguration Eve, hating the Dems,

Staring from the White House with a sour, Trumpy frown,

At the large crowd gathering below in the town.


For he knew every Dem down in Demville beneath,

Was busy now, hanging Inauguration Day wreaths.

"And they're planning their galas!" he snarled with a sneer,

"Tomorrow is Inauguration Day! It's practically here!"


Then he growled, with his tiny fingers nervously drumming,

"I MUST find some way to stop Inauguration from coming!"

For tomorrow, he knew, all the Dem girls and boys,

Would wake bright and early and begin to enjoy!


And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise!

Noise! Noise! Noise!

That's one thing he hated! The NOISE!



Then the Dems, young and old, would sit down to a feast.

And they'd feast! And they'd feast! And they'd FEAST!


They would feast on Dem-pudding, and rare Dem-faux beast.

Which was something the Trump couldn't stand in the least!


And then they'd do something he liked least of all!

Every Dem down in Demville, the tall and the small,

Would stand six feet apart, with masks and start singing!

They'd sing! And they'd sing! And they'd SING!



And the more the Trump thought of this Dem Inauguration sing,

The more the Trump thought, "I must stop this whole thing!"

"Why, for seventy-nine days I've put up with it now!"

"I MUST stop this Inauguration from coming! But HOW?"

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!



"I know just what to do!" the Trump laughed in his throat.

And he put on his MAGA cap and his coat.

And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Trumpy trick!"

"With this coat and my hat, I’ll be Prez again quick!"


"All I need are some cronies..." The Trump looked around.

But, his cronies were gone, there was none to be found.

Did that stop the old Trump? No! The Trump said as he paced,

"If I can't find my cronies, I'll call on my base!"


So he called Donny Junior. Then he took some red thread,

And he tied a bull horn on the top of his head.

Then he tweeted the Proud Boys to stand back and stand by

He called Breitbart News and put on his red tie.


Then the Trump said, "Let’s go!" The limo started down,

Toward the stage where the Dems sat waiting in town.

All their faces were happy. Quiet snow filled the air.

All the Dems were all dreaming of a future with healthcare.


When he came to the first little row on the square.

"This is stop number one," the old Trumpy Don hissed,

he climbed on the roof and banged with his fist.

Then he slid down the hood with a big awkward bump.

But, if T.J. Hooker could do it, then so could the Trump.


He got on the horn that was tied to Don Junior

And yelled at the top of his lungs every rumor

He ever had read on the net about fraud

And hoaxes and traitors, but got no applause.


Then little Cindy-Lou Dem, who was not more than three,

Looked up at the Trump who was making his plea.

The Trump stared down at this tiny Dem daughter,

Who'd come with her mother to see Ms. Kamala.

She stared at the Trump and said, "Mr. Grumpy man, why?,”

"Why are you ruining Inauguration Day? WHY?"


But, you know, that old Trump was so bitter and so slick,

He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!

"It’s all a mistake," the fake President screamed,

"The wrong man is on stage, it ought to be me.

I’m the one who won, and I won by a lot!”


Cindy Lou paused and looked at her mom,

And then looked at the Trump.

“Everyone knows that is not true” she said to the Grump.

“Only those whom you threaten and bully say so.

It’s alright to lose. My mommy says so.


We lost last time too, and did not say ‘Boo Hoo!’”

“What matters is how we act when we lose.

I have learned to accept it and be a big girl.

So put big boy pants on and don’t act like a churl.

Though I am not yet three I have learned to be brave.

When I don’t get what I want, I accept what I have.”


Grinch scratched his head and looked at Don Junior,

He thought of something he never thought of before!

"Maybe Inauguration," he thought, "isn’t all about me."

"Maybe about democracy!"


And what happened then? Demville they say,

That the Trump’s small brain grew three sizes that day!

And as soon as his red cap began to feel tight,

He took off his hat in the bright morning light,


And threw it away, and with the sun shining!

He got on his cell and tweeted, “God bless Joe Biden!

The election is over. And my time has now ceased!”

And then he himself, the Trump, carved the faux beast!


By Marshall Davis (With apologies to Dr. Seuss)