A Los Angeles Visit from St. Nicholas

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

Toyon ("Holly") Berries

Toyon (“Holly”) Berries in a Southern California December

‘Twas towards South California one clear Christmas Eve
That Santa and entourage readied to leave
Their snowy and frost-bitten home at the Pole
Delivery night was their annual goal

As always the reindeer all dratted and grumbled
And Rudolph their leader, he audibly mumbled
Santa said, “Rudolph, what is that you’re saying?
My Rudolph, is that a complaint that you’re braying?”

“I like Christmas Eve,” Rudolph said, “no one better
I don’t like L.A. with its cars and its weather
No cold there, no seasons,” he said, “and it bugs me
No feathery blanket of snow’s there to hug me.”

“It’s only one night,” Santa softly replied
“And kindly remember that children reside
In that sparkling city with winters so mild
They’re not even noticed compared to the wild

Winters more northerly climes endure yearly
I watch it all year as you know and it clearly
Has seasons all right. It’s the fog in the spring
That shelters the canyons and hillsides to bring

The summer most fierce which no green plant can bide
The people take refuge at beaches to hide
From airless and oven-like heat found inland
Then autumn with blast furnace winds scours the strands

And canyons with wildfire. When winter begins
The rains turn the brown hillsides green and within
The fire-ravaged canyons new seeds sprout and grow
The green spreads renewal more welcome than snow

The children who live there do not pine for winter
With cold they’ve not known. Let us go now and enter
The spirit of Christmas in South California
Posadas, poinsettias are waiting there for ya!”

Enjoy your winter solstice holiday of choice!

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