Epistle to All My Friends

ADS for pajamas, toasters, golf clubs, rum,
Proclaim the season and the kingdom come,
And so in jammed department stores we pay
Our sacrifices to the holiday.
The fashion is to scorn the sordid mess
That Christmas has become in our U.S.
One is expected to deplore the game,
But buy one’s share of presents just the same.
“Don’t spend much money, please, on me,” we cry.
“Just something simple — garters or a tie;
The spirit counts, you know, and not the price;
Most inexpensive gifts are very nice.”
I say the hell with that. I’ll have you know
This year I want my friends to spend some dough —
Not that I’m motivated much by greed,
But there are just some little things I need.
To wit: three new suits, an amphibious watch,
A trip to Europe and a case of Scotch,
A hunting lodge in Maine for weekend flings,
A twenty-room cabaña in Palm Springs,
A little cruiser with its little crew,
And, please, a half a million dollars too,
Because most of the things I seem to lack
Can be provided with a little jack.
Moralists say they want the old pure spirit
Restored to Christmas. I don’t want to hear it.
If you’re a friend of mine, then you’ll resist
All that subversive talk. (You have my list.)
When I hear Santa ring out merrily,
I know for whom he tolls — he tolls for me.