Upham's Corner Online

Christmas Ode to Santa and Mayor Menino

The "Christmas Ode to Santa and Mayor Menino" is the poetic story of how Santa helps the Mayor get enough toys for the City's "Needy Children Christmas Gifts" program.  This poem is also a fun-loving tribute to our outgoing Mayor Thomas M. Menino.  Enjoy!  Note:  The City's popular "Toys for Tickets" program has been extended through Wednesday, December 18. Click for more details.

Christmas Ode to Santa and Mayor Menino

Santa Leaves Boston Santa ClausThe Father of Toys, the supreme Christmas Elf,
The red-suited Santa flying high in the sky,
In hiding he's been, unable to pay
The fines and the tickets attached to his sleigh.

So long he's been running that everyone thinks
His home is the North Pole; it wasn't at first.
Old Santa's from Boston though very few know,
What got him in trouble here eons ago.

"I was just being Santa," the jolly gnome claimed,
"My elves and I working to make all the toys
Then wrapping them, packing them, readying ourselves,
Santa, the sleigh and all of the elves."

"I really loved Boston.  The warm ocean breeze
Helped planning for next year be completed with ease,
The timing, the journey, the toys to delight,
For one and for all, a great Christmas night."

Astounding," he said, "How Boston behaved.
The tickets they gave me are more than absurd:
Illegally parked sleigh, inspection expired,
No ID, a driver in red suit attired,

Too many reindeer pulling the sleigh
Elves in the backseat not wearing seat belts
No head lights, no brake lights, no overhead rack."
Santa went home, sad sack on his back.
"I think we're not wanted in Boston," he said
To Susie, his wife, who smiled and proclaimed:
"Let's go to the North Pole where parking is free
And frigid cold winters make reindeer happy."

Santa Returns to Boston For decades or longer, Santa lived far away
From Boston, near Greenland, at 1000 North Pole
In comfort with Susie, his elves and reindeer,
Yet Boston remained in his thoughts so dear.

With eight tiny reindeer, Santa drove and returned
To ride with the moon, skimming over the bay,
Tasting salt in the air - so much he had missed,
And a warrant outstanding, Boston's most wanted list.

Our Santa went walking, enjoying himself,
His sleigh and his reindeer blocked safely from view,
In Faneuil Hall Market, abundant with joys,
Where he heard a strange voice, crying "PAY it with Toys."

The accent, a throw back, so pleasant the sound.
But wait! That voice has a Santa suit on.
"Who is that imposter looking just like me?
That Santa's a fake!  I'm Santa, not he!"

All dressed in his white tufted shiny red suit,
Real Santa did follow whomever it was
Up stairs to a building of concrete, most tall.
The guards said: "Yes, sir, right here in City Hall."

"May I see his Honor?" respectfully bid,
And heard Boston's Mayor saying over the phone:
"More toys and more presents are needed today."
Then he called out: "Hi, Santa.  Where is your sleigh?"

Santa and Mayor Menino
Become Friends
The chit-chat began and the Mayor confessed
There aren't enough toys. So many are needed!
"So tickets for gifts, we are willing to trade.
PAY it with Toys and your tickets are paid."

"What did you say?" Santa asked most enthused,
His left ear turned sideways, as if he were deaf.
"SAY it with Toys?' Sounds awfully absurd.
Is that, Mr. Mayor, the words I just heard?"

"Listen," the Mayor replied, "Carefully."
"PAY it with Toys.  I said:  PAY it with Toys."
"PLAY it with Toys?" Dear Santa did jest. 
"Exactly, precisely, me thinks you protest."

So jolly, fun-loving, most witty and wild,
Truth telling, our Santa was just having fun.
And Tommy, the Mayor, knew Santa would be
A rare kindred spirit. "We're friends, I can see."

Santa Asks for Amnesty
Time to talk turkey, good Santa gave pause,
"I've come back to Boston.  I want amnesty."
He looked at the Mayor with serious eyes,
Then stopped short, not wanting to waste the surprise.

Describing his life, lo, a century ago,
Remembered in detail, time standing still.
"Duress," he asserted, while he "a good elf
Was making kids happy and even myself."

He sang to the Mayor his favorite song:
Santa Claus, That's me, I'm Coming to Town.
"I'm making my lists. I'm checking them twice,
Gonna' find out whose naughty and nice."

Santa stopped singing, confession time near,
"Which list are you on?  The naughty? The nice?
Will you grant me amnesty after all this travail?
Or will it be handcuffs, Santa locked up in jail?"

Mayor Menino Makes Santa an Offer
The Mayor was pleased, the gift ball in his court.
Would Santa, his friend, be able to help?
For all the kids waiting, could Boston come through
With new toys and presents?  Just how would we do?

"Santa, dear Santa, your wish, my command,"
So opened the Mayor his cagey request.
"I've something you want.  You've got something I need.
Let's do some horse trading at reindeer speed."

"Predicting the future, I see Santa proud.
You'll move back to Boston, stay here all the year,
You'll live in a condo with reindeer guest house
No hassles, no tickets, not even a mouse."

So Santa, not trusting, ("I need to be sure.")
Looked hard at the Mayor, with eyes, narrow squints.
"Just what are you asking of me?  What request
Are you making of me that I should feel blessed?

The Mayor imagined kids' faces and smiles
Extending the breadth of his city for miles.
Children, parents, guardians, too,
Toys overflowing from ... well:  You know who.

Thomas Menino, clever Mayor of Boston,
Knew well how to phrase what was best for both sides.
"Just how many sleighsful of toys have you got?"
The offer was clear.  Refuse, he could not.

Santa sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to Mayor Menino a good-night!"

Toys for Tickets Campaign Extended

On Thursday, December 12, 2013, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that he would be extending the City's popular "Toys for Tickets" program through Wednesday, December 18.  The program, originally scheduled to end on Friday, December 13, is being extended to allow more residents to donate toys for needy children.

"Each year for a period of time during the holiday season, Boston drivers are offered the opportunity to pay a City of Boston issued parking ticket by donating a toy that will be passed on to a child in need," Mayor Menino said. "Donations have been slow this year, so I wanted to extend the program to encourage all Boston drivers to help a local family in need to provide their children with toys and a happy holiday."

 Any driver who was issued a non-public safety parking ticket on Boston's streets from Monday, December 2, through Wednesday, December 4, may participate.  The ticket can be resolved by providing a non-violent, unwrapped toy of equal or great value than the ticket fine.

Drivers who would like to participate must bring the parking ticket, as well as a receipt for the toy to the following locations through Wednesday, December 18.
  • Weekdays, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., in front of the Office of the Parking Clerk, Room 224, Second Floor of Boston City Hall.
  • Weekdays, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., and Saturdays, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the BTD Tow Lot, 200 Frontage Road.

The following Public Safety related parking tickets are excluded from this program.
  • HP Ramp
  • HP-DV Parking Only
  • Fire Hydrant
  • Crosswalk
  • Double Parking
  • Fire Lane
  • Less Than 20 Ft/Intersection
  • No Stopping/No Standing
  • Sidewalk
  • Island/Center Strip
  • Over One Foot from the Curb
  • Bus Stop

Posted: December 17, 2013     Nancy J Conrad

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