Snufflebergville Square

A red sign with a Santa hat hanging from one corner that reads Season's greetings.
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[I wrote this in 2005 and it still seems to be relevant. Though not exactly related to the content here, I’m sharing it just for fun. However you spend this time of the year, celebrating a holiday or not, I wish you peace and joy.]

It was the hoIiday tradition in Snufflebergville.
Mayor Regal came out to light the sign on the hill,
But instead of the usual ceremonial event
He read a proclamation, and this is how it went:
“Because we have Widgins and Sneefers and Geefs,
It is no longer fair to just wish Merry Guhneef!

It is not right to include one and leave out the other.
Though religions may differ, we’re still sister and brother.

“So the big lighted sign that stands o’er our town,
The time has now come for it to come down.
A new sign will be raised to stand in the square
To wish “Seasons Greetings” to ALL who go there.”

Now some in the town gave a hearty, loud cheer.
But some simply hissed. Some booed and some jeered,
“Guhneef is a time that we sing, eat and pray!
And no stuffy mayor can take THAT away!”

And a Sneefer shouted out as the trumpets too-tooted,
“Well, it’s about time that we were included!”
The people all left but a battle was raging;
There were cell phones a-ringing and pagers a-paging.

A woman with glasses and gray hair shakes her finger toward you with mouth open
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Soon people were saying that poor Mayor Regal
Was trying to make celebrating Guhneef illegal.
Mrs. Snernoggin called Mrs. Fondeegle
And they exchanged stories about Mayor Regal.
“He left the Geef church to become a Widgin!”
“I heard he’s plum turned his back on reIigion!””

The rumors spread quickly and accusations flew.
No one seemed to care what was false, what was true.
And soon the whole town was all in a tizzy.
They all planned a protest and then they got busy!

Albert Von Wittle dressed as Father Ganeef himself,
With his son, Albert Junior, dressed like an elf.
They each held a sign that said “Sneefers, Go Away!”
And a Sneefer sign replied with “We’re here to stay!”

Geefs built a tower with “MerryGuhneef” on a wire.
The Sneefers built another and built theirs even higher.
And the Geefs were all shouting “Merry Ganeef.”
While the Sneefers yelled songs of a “Happy Jasneef.”

And then mean ol’ Fred Stipple raised his book of Guhneef
And preached to the Sneefers about Guhneef beliefs.
“We celebrate the time when Love came right down,
And we have done so just fine ‘til you Sneefers came to town!”

And then just when it seemed the air couldn’t get thicker.
Someone unplugged the signs and they went out with a flicker.
And then little Michaela stepped out of the crowd
And onto the platform where Stipple preached out so loud.

“Do you really think ribbons and big silver balls?
And hanging up lights and shopping at malls?
And drinking hot cider and eating roast biven?
Gives honor for the all gifts we’ve been given?”

Child with reindeer hat on makes unhappy face as he holds a train in his lap
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And you, Mr. Von Wiffle, you told me yourself
That last year your son, the one dressed like the elf,
After opening his zaffles, and gahzooks and jensmoos,
Looked up from the boxes saying. Where’s the bandooze?”

You were so disappointed because then you knew,
That Guhneef is much more than bandooze or jensmoo.
All this glitter and shopping and flashing lighted signs
Are not symbols of faith! but symptoms of our time.

And if you took the time you’d know that your neighbors
Include Teeters and Roos end even some Schnabers.
My grandma’s a Sneefer, my grandpa’s a Roo.
You’ve all known me forever and, I think, liked me too.

So can’t we all come together in Snufflebergville Square
And just choose to celebrate the common threads that we share?
And wish a peaceful season to our neighbors and friends?
Let’s all start right now before this season ends.

And some Geefs hung their heads and some Sneefers did too;
‘Cuz they knew what Michaela said was all true.
And they put down their signs and dismantled their towers.
A silence fell on the town and remained there for hours.

And then a few Widgins began singing a hymn;
And Geefs started one that was familiar to them;
The Sneefers sang one from their own tradition;
And what happened next defies definition.

As their three hymns of praise harmonically blended
A distinct ray of light on the whole town descended.
MichaeIa took the hand of not-so-mean ol’ Fred Stipple
And it spread through the crowd—ripple upon ripple.

And then they all turned as if on a cue.
They smiled and they nodded cause they knew what to do.
The Sneefers raised the sign that said “Merry Guhneef.”
The Geefs followed suit with the “Happy Jasneef.”

Three women hold candles. there are lights behind them.
Photo credit:

Then the Sneefers lit candles and so did the Geefs
And they placed them in a circle to represent all the beliefs.
To show the Widgins, the Schnabers, the Teeters and others
That Regal was right, we’re all sisters and brothers.

And a new tradition was started that still happens there.
Each year the town gathers in Snuftlebergville Square.
And Geefs bring some biven and Widgens fondue.
And Sneefers bring baloozy and some jendovish too.

Each person brings something—every Schnaber, Teeter and Roo
And it all blends together to make Snufflebergville Stew!
And if you ever get to try it, then you’ll know the reason,
They say in it one tastes the true meaning of this Season.

Motto: The words that you choose to wish season’s greetings matter less than how you treat those people you are meeting.

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