Crushed by the Christmas views
He was struggling.
Staggering up just in time for each scheduled appearance like a drunken Bad Santa.
Too light-headed from the effort?
He started out so well – exemplary.
A bright spot in the neighborhood.
Always nodding congenially as you walked by.
He just glowed with the holiday spirit.
But neighborhood cliques are sometimes petty – wanting to bring things down.
There were whispers he was full of hot air.
Puffed up with self-importance.
(He’d been spotted at Wal-Mart of all places!)
He weathered a few storms, but it seemed to take the wind out of him.
The shine was off.
Slowly there was change. A loss of confidence?
His stance became limp – almost defeated.
He began to look like he would go which ever way the wind blew.
Then suddenly, without explanation, he was gone.
Everyone hesitant to ask.
Uncomfortable with the thought that neighborhood opinions had boxed him in.
Finally the woman of the house was approached.
“The pressure,” she said, “was too great.”
“And he just couldn’t be tied down here.”
“Afraid he’s gone down in history.”
So the block was a little quieter. Views darker.
Awkward conversations about what had happened.
How to explain it to the kids.
He’d been a favorite with them.
Gonna miss that inflatable Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
This hole thing has left Santa flat.
So let’s cheer him up by singing along with Brian Wilson: Little Saint Nick.
(Run, run reindeer! Just love that part.)
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
“Reindeer Practice Run?” Rudolf arrived early? He was running along the freeway. Really. There’s proof. (2011)
“Christmas Decorations Bounce and Rebound. Delighted” Inflatables invade the neighborhood, (2011)
“Boxed in. Strung out.” To light? To inflate? To dream of Christmas yard decor (2012)