When Santa Claus Doesn’t Come To Town

The TV ads
Have been telling me
Since October,
Since I was born,
That Christmas is
Snow covered
Evergreens with
Glittering ornaments
Families happy together in cozy jammies
Hot cocoa in hands
Fires crackling, embers aglow
And
Gifts — Latest. Greatest. Batteries not included.

You may believe it’s the most wonderful time of the year
Or dream of a white Christmas
You may rock around your Christmas tree
And, gosh, I hope you do!

I was told in a folk song
This land is your land
This land is my land

Our shared space
In the city
Is draped in wreaths and holly and twinkly lights
Like stars that fell to Earth
To amplify the season
It is truly beautiful
Luminescent
Nostalgic
Joyful
What has been ours, together,
Is more yours for now
But we can all benefit from the light

At school,
I am expected to clap and sing to
“Santa Claus is Coming To Town”
With passion and spirit
Though the lyrics don’t apply to me

Because the truth is
Santa isn’t coming to town
Not for me
He never has
I don’t miss his absence

He doesn’t know if I’ve been bad or good
I try to be good
Anyway
Are we not a combination of both
Over time?
For goodness sake!

I am expected to clap and sing
To appeal to their melody
To appease their comfort
I am expected to clap and sing

When your comfort
And melody
Matter more
Than making space for
My identity
To harmonize
It is the very definition of
Privilege

I always thought
Words were best shared
Honestly

When I sing of Santa
The words are
False
For me
I’m happy they bring joy to you

I am Jewish.
I am Muslim.
I am Buddhist.
I am Hindu.
I am Sikh.
I am Jain.
I am agnostic.
I am atheist.

I celebrate
Rosh Hashanah
Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr
Vesak
Diwali
Vaisakhi
Holi
Kwanzaa
Solstice
…Nothing

It is possible
You may not have noticed
Our new years
Our harvest festivals
Our revelations
And revolutions

Amidst those twinkly lights of Christmas
Look closer
Throughout the year
And you will see
The lights of
Chanukah menorahs
Kwanzaa kinaras
Buddhist shrine candles
Diwali diyas
Chinese lanterns
Piercing the dark
Illuminating us all

Together, with Christmas,
Each holiday, celebration, festival
Turns a single melody
Into a
Harmonious tune
We can all sing
To light up our world

IMG_1008

2 thoughts on “When Santa Claus Doesn’t Come To Town

  1. I’ve become much more aware of this this year, for some reason. Didn’t put up holiday decorations in my classroom, and kept the festivities focused on “We’re about to go on a 2 week break; does everyone have something to take home to read?” We do snowflakes and cocoa, because those are fun and seasonal without being tied to any one religion or tradition. Thank you for this lovely poem that pushes my thinking a bit further.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s