Lucy Vickery

O come let us adore zhim

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In Competition No. 3078 you were invited to submit a politically correct Christmas carol.

One of Donald Trump’s election pledges was to end ‘the war on Christmas’, and he has given the electorate the presidential nod to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again instead of the more inclusive ‘Happy holidays’.

But was this ‘war’ pointless and misguided in the first place? As Adam Gopnik points out in the New Yorker, Christmas ‘is, at its roots, the very model of a pagan-secular--synthetic festival as much as it is a religious one — just the kind, in fact, that the imaginary anti-Christmas forces are supposed to favour…’ and concludes: ‘he war on Christmas is over. Christmas won.’

So, safe in the knowledge that Donald Trump would approve, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. Thank you, as ever, for your funny, clever, thoughtful and well made entries — and occasional competition suggestions. Keep them coming next year.

Strong performers this week were Ian Barker, Pat Lowther and P.T. Brown. They each earn a festive honourable mention. The winners pocket £25 each.

God help ye, merry gentlemen,

You’re making girls distraite,

Your incorrect behaviours

Quite spoil their holiday

Put your misogynistic jokes

And mistletoe away!

Or whinings of piety shall cloy,

Ever shall cloy,

O, whinings of piety shall cloy.

Adrian Fry

While shepherds ate their vegan gruel,

Inclusive and right-on,

Their fire was free of fossil fuel,

Yet with great warmth it shone.

A visitor appeared to them

From unpolluted skies

To tell them ‘go to Bethlehem,

You’ll get a big surprise.

You’ll find a magic baby there

Newborn by natural birth

Whose eco-mission will prepare

To green this fallen Earth.’

Once there, along with three BAME kings

Who bore the infant gifts

Of healthy and organic things,

They worshipped Christ in shifts.

Basil Ransome-Davies

O come all ye faithful

Also non-believers

Also all Islamists and Sikhs and Jews

Also all pagans

And the Zoroastrians

O dulce et decorum

In saecula saeculorum

Or if you like, ignore him

Christ the Lord

Regardless of gender

And of orientation

O come ye O come ye if you so choose

Birds bees and insects

Any stance on Brexit

O dulce etc, etc.

Bill Greenwell

We’re dreaming of a nice winter

With roads made clear of ice and snow,

Just a bland occasion, no ostentation,

And street lamps giving us a glow.

We’re dreaming of a sound season

With people free to choose their feast,

Where no greetings selfishly exclude,

And no monarchs patronise the least.

We’re dreaming of a cool Christmas

To state whose colour would be rude,

Where the folk are thrifty, and health and safety

Concerns all neighbours as it should.

We’re dreaming of the year coming

With no one special or select;

May your months be models of care,

And may all your actions be correct.

Max Ross

The Lord at first did Adam make

Out of the dust and clay.

That was his first and worst mistake —

We suffer to this day.

For women were an afterthought,

A rib excised from Adam;

We’re simply here for macho sport,

Each Miss or Ms or Madam.

And others feel the same distress;

They share our sorry plight:

Dismissed by Adam’s kind, unless

They’re male and straight and white.

So next time, Lord, you feel inclined

To tinker with the clay,

Create a prototype ‘mankind

Who’s female, black, and gay.

Brian Allgar

While politicians watched their backs

And Brexit dates came round

A Christmas message filled the screens

And welcome was the sound.

‘Fear not,’ it said, ‘the Great Godhead

Salutes all neuterkind,

Equality is planned for all

Created in Its mind.

‘Resolve in future to embrace

Most races as your own,

Let everyone kneel down to praise

All gods on one great throne.

Good cheer to people everywhere,

To beast and fowl and fish,

Change state and gender when inclined

To fit each passing wish.’

Alanna Blake

No. 3081: unauthorised version

You are invited to submit a biblical parable rewritten in the style of a well-known author (please specify). Please email (wherever possible) entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 9 January.