NAC: Christmas Poem Courtesy Detroit Free Press

Ingo Rautenberg irautenberg at
Sun Dec 25 15:28:22 EST 2005

Lest some of you think the people of Michigan have lost our holiday spirit:

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the state 

Folks were on edge because the news wasn't great. 

The factories were quiet, a sign that was telling. 

The vehicles they made were simply not selling. 

The competition was fierce in the global car market. 

GM had more inventory than places to park it. 

Fords were lined up at their dealers with care 

In hope that some customers soon would be there. 

DaimlerChrysler, at least, was holding its own 

With discounts, incentives and interest-free loans. 

But the days were long past when in every garage 

Was a Buick, a Focus or a Caravan from Dodge. 

Stockholders were howling as profits fell short 

And suppliers were forced into bankruptcy court. 

Workers were watching their jobs disappear 

And not feeling much like celebration this year. 

Now into this darkness came a streak of bright light 

Moving south from Up North on this Christmas Eve night. 

With the speed of a rocket, it shot past the Soo, 

Cleared the Mackinac Bridge and then Charlevoix, too. 

'Twas a red-colored sled and 'twas in overdrive 

As it soared above traffic on I-75. 

O'er Grayling it swooped so close to the trees 

That the emerald ash borers could feel the breeze. 

The funny thing was that while moving so fast 

It made nary a sound on the ground that it passed. 

And in the crisp nighttime air it was certainly not lost 

That this thing was leaving no trail of exhaust. 

It passed o'er Frankenmuth just as quick as the dickens, 

Not even so loud as to waken the chickens. 

Whatever the source, its power was clean. 

The sled was all red but the concept was green. 

Near the Hills of Auburn, engineers working late 

Had forgotten, of course, the Christmas Eve date 

Until they looked up from their screens to gaze at the sky 

And saw this red-sledded stranger go racing on by. 

"On Dasher, on Dancer, On Cupid and Vixen," 

He said as he swooped 'tween the towers of the RenCen. 

In the brightness of light from the big GM sign 

You could see the sled pulled by eight reindeer in line. 

In Dearborn he looped 'round the house made of glass, 

And over the plant with the roof growing grass. 

Anyone who saw him was at a loss to explain 

How he was so quick and so quiet and yet burned no octane. 

What pumped up those reindeer? What was making them go? 

Could the formula work for the cars down below? 

Even William Clay Ford, old Henry's great grandkid, 

Could only make guesses about some new kind of hybrid. 

Well the man with the reins had no time to pause 

To explain how he seemed to defy all the laws 

By speeding and flying and yet making no sound 

As he dipped house to house on his overnight rounds. 

But of course you must know that each place on his route 

The kids who believed left snacks and treats out. 

'Twas more cookies and milk than he could consume 

But those eight hefty reindeer always had room. 

Seemed there was magic in the stuff on those plates 

The reindeer, quite simply, were flying on faith. 

So that's how he did it, beat the Christmas Eve odds 

To deliver all those sweaters, TVs and iPods. 

It is truly amazing all the things you can do 

When you know so many people are counting on you. 

So the lesson this Christmas that Santa would leave 

Is that for plans to take flight, you have to believe. 

And as he flew out of Michigan he shouted out with good cheer 

"Work hard, keep the faith. It'll be better next year!" 

With best wishes for the holidays and the New Year to Free Press readers everywhere, 

Ron Dzwonkowski 

Editorial Page Editor

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