Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


December 19, 2012

John Cannon: The worst Christmas meal ever: 12/19/12


In my annual tribute to bad poetry,

I offer today a story in verse,

If you think it’s awful, I promise you this,

Next year it may even be a little bit worse.


It happened the Christmas when things were tough,

And I knew that Dad was having it rough,

We wouldn’t be getting bikes and dolls and stuff,

Because there just wasn’t money enough.

But I still was surprised when Dad said one day,

“We’ll celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way.

There will be no turkey or goose or hams,

No sweet rolls, no dressing and no Christmas yams.

This year when we dine at our Christmas table,

We’re going to eat no more than we’re able

To afford in these times that are really tough,

But I am certain that everyone will have enough,

To fill our bellies with lots of great food,

It won’t be the same, but it will still be good.”

“What will we have for dinner?” asked Sam,

“I can’t imagine Christmas without a ham,

Or taters and gravy and lots of turkey.

And maybe some of Jimmy’s beef jerky.

Followed by pie with lots of ice cream.

Now that’s my version of a Christmas dream.”

“That’s a little more than we can afford this year,

But we will still have plenty of Christmas cheer,”

Said Dad who was always a joyful giver.

Instead of turkey this year we’ll have liver,

And eggplant and spinach and lots of great beets,

And for dessert I’ve planned a special treat,

Some yummy slices of Grandma’s fruitcake,

It’s already made, there’s nothing to bake,

Now doesn’t that sound yummy, Sammy and Jake?’

“To me this dinner, sounds utterly absurd

It’s the worst Christmas meal of which I’ve ever heard,

With no ham or turkey to carve,

I really think I would rather starve.

This meal is more than I can ever take,”

Said my oldest brother Jake.

“It’s the worst Christmas meal you could possibly make.

I cannot celebrate with this Christmas meal,

I’m sorry but that’s just the way I feel.”

“You kids are looking at this the wrong way,”

Replied our Dad with a voice of utter dismay.

“Throughout the world there is many a child,

Who I promise would go simply hog wild,

For just a bite of that liver you say you hate,

And for eggplant and beets he just couldn’t wait.

But you turn your nose up in the air,

And gripe that life just isn’t fair.

Besides, we are creating real memories here,

That I’m certain will last for many a year.

We tend to forget our past Christmas dinners,

The ones that made us fatter, instead of thinner,

But I tell you the truth because I’m not a fibber,

You will never forget the year we had liver.

When it comes to making memories. I always deliver.”

That Christmas meal we ate food that we hate,

But still we managed to celebrate.

For Christmas is not a big fancy meal,

That’s not what makes the holiday real.

It’s about being with those you truly love,

And remembering the Savior who came from above.

It’s a day to celebrate a holy birth,

And remember that each one of us has worth,

As children of the God, the great I Am,

Whether we’re eating liver or ham.

That Christmas we all did get,

A dinner that we will never forget.

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or at (606) 326-2649.

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