Dearest Reader:

Here we are, getting lazy on you again. What you perhaps don’t know is that our writers have been hard at work, chipping away at new, exciting projects that will be outlined in a forthcoming post entitled “The Writing Folly Winter Showcase Preview.”

For now, here is a seasonally themed essay by Charles in epistolary form.


–The Writers

“An Ode to a Secular Winter Shrub” by Charles

Dear Governor Walker,

My name is Tony Wayne. I am a concerned citizen of our beloved Badger State writing to you about some recent state house issues.

It seems that these days, it’s not enough to say “happy holidays!” when the Wisconsinite winter rears its ugly, pasty, day-light deprived head. With “happy holidays” you at least get a bit more coverage than “Merry Christmas!” which directs itself so exclusively at members of that cult involving voracious shopping and the worship of a fat red man and something about an infant king. But even with a greeting that widens one’s appeal like the burst of my sawed-off twelve gage, “happy holidays” just doesn’t suffice in the Yuletide season. That’s because we have un-“holi” people who don’t celebrate holidays at all. These are the same friendly folks you might find picketing your own capitol building for endorsing Christendom with a dressed-up conifer, or the ones raising a riot about the pledge of allegiance. So now we’ve got to say “happy winter time festivities” if we want to be politically correct, and high schools can’t have Christmas dances, and Christmas decorations in government buildings are a dying art. So instead we get winter shrubs, which are just about the same as Christmas trees except a little rounder and less decorous and devoid of religious meaning. That’s what has become of what our German ancestors called the “Weihnachtsbaum.” In a wintry atmosphere drained of original Christian values, we get a bushy plant without so much as the star of Bethlehem to top it off. Next thing we know, we’ll need shawls to cover church steeples, St. Valentine’s Day will be renamed lovey-dovey day and just be about crummy conversation hearts, and even “happy winter time festivities” will be a greeting too overtly religious who don’t celebrate winter as a season. And that, if for no other reason, is why I’m voting Santorum 2012.

So we sing:

“O, secular winter shrub. O, secular winter scrub. How irreligious are your branches!

“Not even a trace of God’s saving grace. With changing times, you set the pace!

“O, secular winter shrub. O, secular winter shrub. You sponsor no creed at all!”

Happy Winter Time Festivities,

Tony Wayne