A Swift twist on an old Christmas story

by | Dec 17, 2023 | Comment, Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the nation
America was fighting
And filled with frustration
Left against right,
You versus me
Old against young
Fox versus MSNBC
Gas! No, electric!
Open borders! No, closed!
Woke! No, tradition!
Donald! No, Joe!
Nowhere it seemed
Could we find common ground
Not on war, race or money
Our ire was profound
Even the Lions
Who’d had us enthralled
Had started to splinter
And fumble the ball
It seemed beyond hope
That our country could find
Something all could agree
Would unite humankind
So Ma in her kerchief,
And I in my cap
Went to bed around midnight
For a long winter’s nap
When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter
We sprang from the bed
To see what was the matter
Then to my wandering eyes
Did appear
A massive stage pulled
By men dressed as reindeer
And klieg lights so bright
They eclipsed the moon
Then a sleigh with the top down
Arrived with a zoom
“We’re here to unite you!
“You’re lucky to have us!
“You know me as Taylor,
“And this here is Travis!”
“At last!” someone screamed
“A sight to unite us!
“Taylor and Travis
“Could cure meningitis!”
The music was blasting
Couldn’t hear yourself cough
As in a short skirt, Taylor
Screamed, “Shake it Off!”
And the country went wild
With reverent applause
Until a boy rose and whispered
“But it’s not Santa Claus”
The amps all fell silent
The band froze in place
The world turned to stare
At this little boy’s face
Swifties prepared to dish
“I asked Santa,” he said
“To grant me one wish.”
“And what did you wish for?”
Taylor asked of the lad
“Name it” Travis added
“Want a brand new iPad?”
The boy looked away
He said, “Not that exciting
“I just wanted Mommy and Dad
To stop fighting.”
“And my uncles and aunts 
“To stop arguing nightly
“And my school to stop saying
“Who’s wrong and who’s rightly
“And the TV to stop
“Predicting the end
“And my neighbors to go back
“To being friends.”
A silence descended
With no room for song
For there was no pop answer
For getting along
A sheepishness rose
As we thought of our noise
And the impact of anger
On young girls and boys
We lowered our heads
Looked down at our toes
When a new sleigh alighted
By a reindeer’s red nose
“Merry Christmas,” yelled Santa
“The kid’s got it right.
“Be nicer to each other …
“And to all a good night.”

Contact Mitch Albom: malbom@freepress.com. Check out the latest updates with his charities, books and events at MitchAlbom.com. Follow him @mitchalbom.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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