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Happy Holidays!

by Charles Albano

Talk of Santa Claus and all,
Furtive trips from work to mall,
Credit cards pressed thin from wear,
Savings vaporized in air--
Close your eyes and sign right there;
Lighten up, it's holiday cheer!

Advertising to the max,
Everything from soup to slacks.
Obligation is the driver,
Animating the Christmas striver,
Can't be sure of what to buy--
Bad idea?..... Well, give it a try!

Christmas Muzak in the air,
Weeks on end can cause despair.
Crowded highways, crowded shops,
Mass confusion pulls the stops.
Zombies programmed in their ways
Cruise the malls on holidays.

Everything you touch adds cost
Until it seems that all is lost.
Acquaintances and oversights--
Who's left out? You can't risk slights!
Extra mileage on the car;
Shopping trips are much too far!

Social visits to fulfill;
Gossip and some cheer to swill.
Dinners bake while tempers stew,
"They should be here, they're overdue!"
Paste-on smiles don't wear so sweet,
On relatives that care not meet.

Aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers,
Sisters, in-laws, kids of others;
What a lengthy laundry list.
What did I do to warrant this?
Obligation, guilt or shame;
Take your pick, they're much the same.

Drinks to take off ragged edges,
Later hit like ten pound sledges!
Gluttony sidetracks the spirit.
Zombies programmed to react
Put needs and wants in one big sack!

Charities that so abound,
Out of season can't be found.
Packages so richly wrapped,
Pretty ribbons torn and sacked!
Disappointing gifts galore,
Taken back to every store!

Merchandise that's turned back in,
Whispered comments, "Such a sin."
Postage stamps and stationery,
"This mailing list's a dictionary!"
Afterburn that lasts for weeks
Bars the mind that solace seeks.

Angry parents, snot-nosed kids,
Boost the sales of antacids.
Everything is overdone;
Wind them up and off they run!

I'm not rich, and I'm not broke,
And I am NOT a misanthrope!
It's not that I don't see the joy
That comes from some well-chosen toy;
I lose my zest before the time,
And come that day, it isn't mine.

Holiday zombie all these years,
I've earned the right to vent my cares!




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