I don’t believe in Santa Clause
And really never did.
There was no glitter of Christmas lights
Way back when I was a kid.
No sweet brown-sugared Christmas ham
Nor presents ‘neath a tree.
Tis not the birthday of Jesus Christ
Is what was told to me.
The ancient Church made this day
From pagan celebration.
And in this way they compromised
For non-Christian incorporation.
The pagan peoples would not turn
From their own affiliations
So the church metamorphed those pagan rites
To encourage assimilation.
So, there were no stockings by the fire
No rosemary roasted hen.
Participation in such a rite
Concedes the faith again.
To kiss beneath the mistletoe
Or sing a Christmas carol
Gives approval to the watering down
And puts the faith in peril.
But many days have long since past
Since I was taught that lore
And I’ve long left that Christian church
And opened other doors.
The truth of Christmas origins
Cannot be denied
But I sense an even greater loss
A cultural genocide.
For every time a pagan rite
Was given a Christian form
It meant the abandonment of life
Of a now lost ancient form
For the pagans also compromised
If only to survive
And forever lost a rich heritage
To the Christian hive.
As Christmas time comes round again
It hardly comes to mind
The repercussion to both of these
To faith and pagan-kind.
When I put up my Christmas tree
As now I choose to do
I try to meditate on more
Than just “white lights or blue?”
Whether the birth of Jesus Christ
Or just a family tradition
There are stories behind those ornaments
And the cost of institution.
Christmas is what you make of it
Or so the sayings go
But as you light the Yule log, ask
For whom do the silver bells toll?
Shannon is a senior majoring in technical journalism. She is a
poet for hire.