A Christmas carol

In 2009’s post-credit-crunch recessionary climate, Horsham Council reduced by three-quarters the amount it spent on Christmas lights. I overheard three spooky visitors giving their views on the situation.

In Horsham, the Spirit of Christmases Past
Materialised in Swan Walk,
Its candle ablaze. I stood rooted, aghast,
For the phantom had started to talk.

“Long ago,” quoth the spectre, its anger contained,
“Horsham’s lights were a joy to regard.
What Scrooge in the Council has this year ordained
That its budget be cut back so hard?”

Christmas Present appeared. “Big spending has ended,
For the pressure on costs is severe.
Taxpayers of Horsham would be well offended
If its lights cost the same as last year!”

A third apparition arrived on the scene,
Ghost of Christmas To Come, with its head
Black-hooded, a void where its face would have been,
And as silent as if it were dead. . .

As it angrily gestured, I shivered with fear,
And the other ghosts fled from its sights.
Then it vanished. But, strangely, its message was clear:
Happy Christmases aren’t made with lights!

[Image: John Leech, 1843 , from Wikimedia Commons]
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