By Linda Mansfield
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and St. Nick was concerned
This might be his last trip because people just hadn’t learned;
The earth’s climate was changing and there was no time to spare
For people to change and show Mother Nature they cared.
The reindeer were the first to know that disaster was looming;
And they were so upset about it they were constantly fuming.
You see they eat magic lichen so they can fly on Christmas Eve
But global warming made it sparse, so they were hungry and peeved.
The polar caps were diminishing, and to them it was clear
That people must act now to clean up the atmosphere.
“People are oblivious; many don’t even believe it’s a problem”
Santa said to himself; the usually jolly ol’ elf was really quite solemn.
“For centuries I’ve been stressing to them to be good girls and boys
But I should have focused more on recycling and less about toys.”
Santa watched sadly as his reindeer pawed through the snow
Trying to find the magic lichen they needed to fly with his cargo.
They ate it year round so they could pull his sleigh one night a year
To bring Christmas presents to good children both far and near.
But modernization and progress threatened to spoil it all
And bring hurricanes, forest fires and floods to their urban sprawl.
Reforestation, recycling, and keeping more things out of landfills;
More ecological manufacturing methods in their factories and mills;
Cleaner transportation; less Styrofoam; and even more car-pooling
Were some of the measures needed to make the outlook less grueling.
Solar power, windmills, and cleaner emissions would help too;
Just recycling papers and cans would be simple things they could do.
“How can one elf convince them the problem is real?” Santa wondered.
“Their politicians haven’t done much, and they govern hundreds.”
St. Nicholas shook his head and wondered how to get the word out
So they’d finally believe and bring real changes about.
“Time is running out for them to save the planet,” he fumed.
“They need to be smarter about their habits or the Earth is doomed.”
So this is St. Nicholas’s message to young and to old:
“If you want me to continue to visit you one night a year,
Please clean up the environment so I can feed my reindeer!”