Sleigh Rides Do Not a Christmas Make

While folks down under get to ride their bicycles
__And dine alfresco at a Christmas picnic,
We blokes up over are avoiding icicles
__And making every effort not to nitpick

The ugly woolen sweaters Santa left behind.
__Because we live in different hemispheres,
Where seasons are reversed, it comes to mind
__That we must calibrate our telomeres

According to the biases that we are stuck with.
__With every day there comes another night,
A natural fact that always seems much less destructive
__In seasons when the world is granted light.



C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden.  Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India.  His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

13 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    I enjoyed this, C.B. You always come up with new and fascinating perspectives on things. The rhymes are fun, too.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Christmas in early summer just seems weird, but I guess people get used to it.

  2. Brian A. Yapko

    I greatly enjoyed this poem with its consideration of the differences and biases among people based — at least superficially — on geography and not something more menacing. I especially enjoyed the rhymes of bicycles with icicles and telomeres (which I had to look up) with hemispheres. Most of all, I admired the elevation of the poem’s theme in the last lines which culminates when the world “is granted light.” May it be so. Merry Christmas, C.B.

  3. Roy Eugene Peterson

    The regional differences some years are stark. I always refer to the song by Gene Autrey, “Santa Claus Rides a Strawberry Roan When He Goes Down to Texas–Reindeer can’t go where there’s not any snow and there’s no snow in Texas.”

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    There was a nearly life-size display of Santa Claus in his sleigh pulled by reindeer in the raised foreground of a home in our neighborhood in the 1950s. It was set up every December, and trimmed with small white electric lights. When snow came, and the sun went down, it was for me the most beautiful visual phenomenon of Christmas. The utter regularity of its appearance every year was deeply comforting to me.

    • C.B. Anderson

      That makes me wonder, Joe, what the folks in Lapland find impressive. The aurora borealis, perhaps?

  5. Adam Sedia

    This poem struck home with me. My wife and her family are from Argentina, and Christmas Eve with them always features cold food and barbecue- like our 4th of July cookouts. To her, the food was perfectly normal until once while we were dating I pointed out to her why I found the cold food strange. I like what you do with that observation, too: perspective matters.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Then for you, Adam, my poem was self-explanatory. For perspective, it is sometimes useful to turn a globe of the world upside-down.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    C.B., I love this! I am particularly drawn to, “… ugly woolen sweaters Santa left behind.” Here on the coastal plains of Texas, I’ve turned the jumper tradition into a garish-socks tradition… socks are where it’s at on a sunny Christmas day. A very merry Christmas to you!

    • C.B

      Do you, Susan, have ugly sock contests in Texas the way we have ugly sweater contests here up north?

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Sadly, C.B., the ugly sweater scene has not taken off in these warm parts, which is why I send loud Christmas socks to friends each year. Strangely, they’ve grown to love my wild sock madness, and expect crazier socks every yuletide! I hope there wasn’t a sock in sight among your Christmas gifts and you were blessed with the fine amber elixir you deserve. Happy Boxing Day!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.