Sunday, December 25, 2016

"Santa Is Just for Children" by John C. Mannone, Frequent Contributor

Santa Is Just for Children
John C. Mannone

Santa’s bag bulges with gifts
as he shimmies down the chimney
(he always makes a way) to give
to children their desires.

I see Jesus in a Santa suit, Kris
and Christ have similar names.
One’s wearing a bright red suit,
the other poured Himself out—
the color of love. He gives
to all of us just what we need:
from a bottomless bag of toys
or from a bottomless basket of
fresh bread & cedar smoked fishes,
as we learn about the true gifts,
the beatitudes—fruits of the Spirit.

We are the children of a God
who sates our hearts when we
love and obey Him. Children should
honor and respect their parents.
Give back to mom and dad… to Him,
but you can’t out give the Creator.

Leave Santa some cookies and milk.
Our “Santa” has already left us His
bread, broken  for us; wine, poured.

We are the children who believe
in the magic of Christmas,
indeed, we must be as children
to come to the Christmas party
to where Santa lives, way up
in the north pole—all of heaven
revolves around the north pole.
And the stars are angels singing:

            You better watch out,
            you better not cry,
            you better be good,
            I’m telling you why,
            Santa Claus is coming
            to town.

Watch, be vigilant. No one knows
the hour He will come, whether in
a reindeer sled from the east or
in Ezekiel’s chariot with a team
of white stallions thundering the clouds.

Poet’s Notes: The song title and lyrics inspired this poem but in a different context. "Santa Claus got Stuck in my Chimney" (recorded by Harlem Diva, the young Ella Fitzgerald on Decca records in 1929). The bulging bag of toys being the cause got me thinking about the bulging nets of fish of the fishermen-disciples in the gospel. That prompted me to attempt a comparison between two gift-givers: Santa and the One in the Scriptures. The poem braided those comparisons. It should make for a subject of interesting discussion. 

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