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John Wagner


Merry Christmas! (Frohe Weihnachten!) woodblock print by Moriz Jung.

The crowds in the mall alleviate guilt,
And encourage the tightwad to spend.

The later the purchase, the fatter the wallet,
But also slimmer the pickings.

Ross Dress For Less
Means more for the in-laws.

Bought too early, a gift without spirit;
Too late, a gift without heart.

Christmas parties defy the laws
Of supply and demand.

You live too far, or you waited too long,
If the shipping costs more than the gift.

The gift bought on Main Street
Is always worth more
Than the same one
You bought at the Mall.

The gift we return is not to our liking,
Or was it the person who gave it?

An artificial tree:
A shrewd convenience we try to hide.
A real tree:
A pain in the ass we display with pride.


About the writer:
John Wagner’s work has been published in The Lyric, Blue Collar Review, Long Island Quarterly, Long Islander, and The Round Magazine. He holds a PhD (ABD) in creative writing from University of Denver and has been a teacher at Providence College and a development director for a wide variety of organizations, including Loyola Marymount University, the Denver Symphony, and Boulder Community Health. John enjoys golf, traveling, and fundraising for a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Image: Merry Christmas!(Frohe Weihnachten!) by Moriz Jung (1885-1915). Woodblock print. No size specified. Original from the MET Museum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel. Cropped here to purpose. By free license.

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