December’s wild collective madness strikes!
We all submit like slaves to Santa’s lash
and with our hearts and minds and credit cards
crown Santa as de facto Season King.
Remote from human suffering at the Pole,
he speaks to those who dream of better things
beyond injustice misery and toil
to offer tinsel hope and brittle joy:
“Just come to me, and I will bring relief ‑
my cargo cult will save you from your grief.”
I cannot soil the Incarnation’s gift
with Santa’s baubles or his sugared grift.
Give me the God whose feet have touched the ground
and walked with us as human as ourselves
to celebrate our joys and share our pain;
who’s borne injustice hunger and fatigue
and who, foreswearing all escape, endured
our human death; and Death’s defeat secured.
December’s now the torment of my year;
while Santa’s bogus claims assault my ears
the One we fete, who lived our living’s ills,
is trampled in the rush for happy pills.
Jim McPherson is a retired Anglican priest from Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Australia. Originally published in To Tease Our Knowing. Reprinted by permission of the author.