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Competition 11: Ho-Ho-Not-So-Very-Ho!

Put the cork back in the sherry and keep the mince pies in the tin. Stoke up the fire to last through the night and try to pacify the kids with the news that Dad will start Christmas in a better mood this year after a good night’s sleep without indigestion and a bed full of pastry crumbs. He could not have written more imaginative excuses than your Father Christmases did for not wanting to spend the night parked on every roof in the world with a team of improbably named animals and a sackful of tat.

A credit-crunched tangerine in the toe of the optimistic stockings of each curmudgeon whose ideas appear below; and a special bag of only-just-past-their-sell-by-date nuts to Sally Carter for introducing the surreal concept of needing to teach walruses to fly.

Friends.... Unforeseen dramas, beyond my control,
have caused total mayhem at HQ, North Pole.
A newly-formed quango up here in the North
has set up new guidelines (employment, so forth).
Their remit - ensuring each creature's enabled
to find gainful labour, without being labelled
as elderly, fruitcake, ham-fisted or fat,
a laudable aim from some daft bureaucrat.

Since by statute, employment of reindeer must cease,
they've sent me eight walruses on day release.
I can't fault their nature, their morals are sound,
but the struggles they're having to get off the ground!
The main problem's take-off; they can't get the lift.
Let's face it, a walrus's nickname's not "Swift".
If I promised to call some time soon I'd be lying;
2012 is the soonest this squad might be flying.

Sally Carter

Now here's the truth: I'm bored with all you brats.
I've met with more unselfishness in cats.
Like all the human race, you have the gimmies:
You want your sister's Barbie doll, or Jimmy's
Toy fire engine – that's why Christmas Day
Is apt to end in tears with hell to pay.
So this year, no more toy shop brightly humming
With busy elves. Forget it – I'm not coming.
Don't bother leaving cookies on a plate
Or whining for a chance to stay up late.
You've finally exhausted my forbearance.
It's time you realized that I'm your parents.

Gail White

Dear Children, Cherish what you’ve got,
Keep on the straight and narrow.
There’ll be no turkey in the pot –
I hope you like roast sparrow.

Due to cash-flow strife, the elves
Have all been made redundant
You’ll have to make the cards yourselves
And toys won’t be abundant.

Presents, such as they will be,
Will come wrapped in The Sun,
The Great Escape will start at three
And end at three oh one.

The Christmas tree will be replaced
By sprig of pyracantha
And thriftiness will be embraced,
Yours, bah humbug, Santa.

Peter Goulding

It's not just the financial crash
that emptied all my shelves,
or long unsocial hours
that unionised the elves,

or that the RSPCA
has capped the reindeers' miles,
or Health & Safety stamped a foot
on landings on the tiles,

or even Greens (all anti-waste)
with their re-cycled gifts,
or Risk Assessments making clear
dangers of all-night shifts:

but hauled into The Priory for
sherry/mince pie abuse.
You'll only get my Christmas toast
in sodding beetroot juice.

D A Prince

Okay, listen up and gather around.
Pay attention! I'm talking to you!
There are prickly problems I've recently found
And I'm going to tick off a few.

If you're rich cause you're pilfering pounds, check yourself,
Then straighten your banking accounts.
To political types who play loose with their pelf,
I'm tallying up the amounts.

I see all of you who are meaner than sin
And drink till you've lost all your senses;
The lot of you likely will find yourselves in
A place that has guards, bars and fences.

I can't always tell who is naughty or nice
So I'm cancelling this year's trip.
Until you shape up, better take this advice:
You'll get nada--zero--zip!

Pat D’Amico

This year there’ll be no sweets or toys
For all the little girls and boys.
For Euro-laws in hugger-mugger
Have scrapped old light bulbs, more’s the bugger!
Now everywhere that Rudolph goes
He has an eco-bulb-lit nose --
And eco bulbs are dim and glum.
There’s more light from a glow worm’s bum!

So Rudolph simply does not know
Where he’s been or where to go.
Once, every child upon the planet
Used to wonder, This year can it
Be just like it was last year?
Sorry, kids. The answer’s clear --
The days of Yo! Ho! Ho! are past.
This year Rudolph can’t be arsed.

Leo Vincent