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Regina Saves Christmas
[974 words]
Anthony S Maulucci
Anthony Maulucci writes fiction, poetry, and drama. After many years as an expatriate, New York City bohemian, and freelance writer, he turned to college teaching as a career. He is the author of another novel, THE DISCOVERY OF LUMINOUS BEING (1995), a collection of short stories, ADRIANA'S EYES AND OTHER STORIES (1999), and a poetry chapbook, ALL FOR LOVE (2000), all available from Amazon.com. Maulucci is the winner of the Rosengarten Award for fiction and the Jordan Davidson Poetry Prize and has been featured in various publications, including The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Italian Tribune, The New London Day and The Hartford Courant.

[May 2002]
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Regina Saves Christmas
Anthony S Maulucci

Quiet City Books

Copyright 2001 by Anthony S. Maulucci

Quiet City Books are published by
P.O. Box 975
Norwich, CT 06360


The Christmas season had come indeed
to a Connecticut village called Milkweed
where the children were happy spending their time
playing their games and singing their rhymes.
Their parents, however, as I will have written
by the shine and sparkle bugs had been bitten.
As if in a fever they were eager to spend
more than they earned without any end.
Each family was determined, it was perfectly plain,
to outdo the others and showed their disdain
for any item that was lower in price
than what their neighbors had snapped up in a trice.
You may well wonder how this came to be
in a village as peaceful as peaceful could be.
The reason is I’m sorry to say
because of one man who would have his way.
Mr. Simon P. Gruntly of Crassville Mall
wanted more profits, wanted them all.
He wouldn’t be satisfied until he could get
much bigger profits than he’d ever had yet.
So he started a contest with prizes for who-all
would spend the most at the Crassville Mall.

Now the grown-ups began acting weirder than ever
using their charge cards as though they’d never
have to pay back the debt they were racking up
buying all kinds of expensive stuff
from gadgets to gizmos and all in between
the craziest things you’d ever seen:
a toaster that toasted one side of your bread,
a television set you could wear on your head.
The children tried hard to make it clear
they were disturbed, but the grown-ups didn’t hear.
On and on it went till late in the season
this spending and spending for no good reason.
Mr. Simon Gruntly was as pleased as his punch;
he continued working right through lunch.
He worked so hard he developed a twitch
and his twitch had a twitch from wanting to be rich.
“More sales! More sales!” he shouted at meetings
and outside in the mall he called, “Season’s Greetings!”
to all the mad shoppers rushing to buy
another toy for their toddler to try.

Christmas Eve was approaching with no end in sight
of the shopping mall madness that caused such a fright.
So the children of Milkweed met on a playground
and decided it was time to turn things around.
Regina Contina climbed up on some boulders.
(She was known to have a good head on her shoulders.)
“Here’s an idea for a neat little plan
before this spending gets way out of hand.”
The children listened as Regina spoke
explaining what to do before their families went broke.
The next day was going to be Christmas Eve,
and the children smiled -- they had a plan up their sleeve.
Well after midnight they all had crept
into their parents’ bedrooms while they slept
removing with stealth and as quick as a curse
the credit cards from every wallet and purse.
Once these were safely out of harm’s way
they hunted down the presents that were hidden away.

These children were clever and very resourceful.
Their actions were brave. Not one was remorseful
about taking the toys straight down to the mall
where they waited while Regina placed a call.
She phoned the police and said quite bluntly
they would not budge until Mr. Gruntly
and the people of Milkweed too came down
to see the pile of toys they’d heaped on the ground.
It didn’t take long for them all to arrive
families, firefighters, police -- the mall swarmed like a hive.
The children were proud of what they had done --
so much excitement, so much fun
to see the expression on their parents’ faces
as they beheld the evidence of all their disgraces.
Around a mountain of stuff the children were marching
and a smaller pile of plastic was ready for scorching.
“What’s this !” fumed Gruntly, his eyes popping out.
Several parents too had started to shout.
“Your attention!” cried Regina in a commanding voice.
“We children believe that we have a choice.
To be honest we think that all of you parents
have gone way too far in buying these presents.
We want no part of them. In fact, we insist
you return them all now, every one on your list.
Please accept our apologies for all this commotion,
but we protest strongly this wrongheaded notion
that Christmas is all about buying us stuff.
Now, Mr. Gruntly, don’t you huff and puff.
The true spirit is something you grown-ups don’t get.
All we want is more time together, and yet
you run out and buy us these toys and such
and they’re not even something we want very much.
What we want, let me tell you, is simpler by far
just time to be with you, read books, play guitar.
What we all truly wish for we never receive.
Give us more smiles and laughter, won’t you please?
Dear parents you’ve spent much more than you earn,
please take it all back or these piles will burn.”

Mr. Gruntly was speechless, it came as a shock,
outmaneuvered by children -- he’d be a laughingstock!
“See here, I don’t think you can do such a thing!”
Just then the children started to sing.
Their parents too joined in on the song
they hadn’t caroled a carol in ever so long.
“Stop this singing!” cried Gruntly, looking pale and grim.
But no one paid any attention to him.
Then all of the grown-ups went inside one-by-one
going directly to a window marked “Refund.”
Mr. Gruntly cooperated I am happy to say
even though such behavior was never his way;
the sight of the children was quite a surprise
he saw a great truth shining out from their eyes;
no longer was he the marketplace slave
all due to the actions of Regina the Brave.
By nighttime he was weary but played his part;
the grown-ups too were lighter of heart.
It had taken all day to return all the gifts
the whole town had turned out and they did it in shifts.
They were tired but peaceful; they’d done what was best;
they felt better now, and no one was stressed.
In the center of the mall was a large Christmas tree.
The townspeople came together and gathered around
the young and the old, the humble and proud.
In their hearts they rejoiced in their own special way
that the children of Milkweed had saved Christmas Day.






"This is very humorous indeed, I am glad to see that there is someone else out there that not only does humor 'WELL',but rhyming and humorous children's stories and poems! Please check out my stories(The Dogs Dress Up for Halloween)etc...I would really appreciate your input! " -- christine Tricarico.


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© 2000 Anthony S Maulucci
April 2002

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