“T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the land, not a creature was stirring, they’d all become sand,” except……
One solitary figure, determined, steadfast, single-minded, trodding a lonely, broken path, ancient it seemed. The quiet of the dead world broken by his plodding steps, and the creaking of his aging joints. No other sound could be heard across the dead, dry earth, except…
“All is calm, all is rust” jangled discordantly from a throat as rusty as the crumbling structures rising on the horizon. “Trudging, ever through the dust”
“City sidewalks, empty sidewalks”, our lone Pilgrim belted out as he peers into darkened storefronts. Ever looking, always searching for signs of another being moving in the desolation. Never once deviating from his predetermined track. He had traveled “field and fountain, moor and mountain following” the Star imprinted in the guidance system.
He “wonders as he wanders, do THEY know it’s Christmas time at all” upon spying the moldering mannequins in ancient festive tatters. He catches a glimpse of his own rags, in a broken shard of glass. The hat upon his shiny pate, once a flaming crown of crimson- now threadbare, no longer even retaining the faded pink of centuries past. Trimmed in fur, matted and mangy. “Ho! Ho! Ho!” he greeted them as he passed.
What inner fire burned within his shell drove him to perform this yearly tradition? Why, after these many years, years which showed starkly on his aging facade, did he continue, contributing to his further deterioration? Did he need purpose, could he even feel purpose?
“Seasons Greetings, Happy Holiday.day.day.day” “Remember member the Reason for the SeaSon!” he exclaimed! “Remember December!” he added- as an afterthought- after all, he did remember, every single December. He feels himself crumbling, as his very world was. Will he remember next December? Will he even BE, next December. “Oh you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why.why.WHY?” He hesitates; has he forgotten WHY? No, not yet “CYBER CLAUZ 2020 ™ is coming to ttooooooooooowwwwwnah!”
He jingles jangles, more decrepit than festive, at this point. “Say “Hello” to friends you know and everyone you meet! Beep!”
At long last, he makes it to his destination. Even in the dark, he senses THIS is the PLACE. He locates the control panel, reverently opens it to wipe away a years worth of settled decay - meticulously. He, alone, in all the world, knows the rituals and the incantations to bring forth the old Gods. He, alone, can call forth the Light, in this dead, dirty world. “A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight”, he chants as he meticulously checks the circuitry.
“A Star a Star, dancing in the night,” he yells, metallically, “with a tail as big as a kite! WITH A TAIL AS BIG AS A KITE!”
“Let there be light!” he screams into the dark, and there was, and he saw, with relief, that it was good. There were, indeed, lights, lots of lights. Not as many as last year, nowhere close to BEFORE, but light there was. Strands and strands of light, all leading up to a giant central star, shining above the center of it all. THE REASON he remembers every December. His REASON for walking. His REASON for singing.
“The Hopes and Fears of all the year are met in THEE tonight” he intones as he makes his way over. He solemnly brings out the sacred cloth he has carried, forever, for this Purpose each year. “I have no gift to bring pah rump pah pum pum!” he reverently whispers as he gently wipes away the grime from the THREE FIGURES. First The Father, then The Mother, then the Small ONE. “The cattle are lowing, the poor BABY wakes, the Little Lord Jesus, no crying HE makes”, he coos to The Child. “I love THEE, Lord Jesus, come down from the sky, and stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.” he quietly pleads.
The Ritual is finished. He lowers his failing frame to the ground, his eyes click shut. One final song drifts through his dying circuitry.
"Simply Having, a Wonderful Christmas Time. Simply having a wonderful christmas time. simplyhvngawndrfulchrismastme"