A visit from St. Nicholas, newsroom style

Joel van der Veen
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The following column is intended as a warm tribute to the people I work with and a celebration of the holidays.

It’s dedicated to Ashu Solo, the man who claims that the “Merry Christmas” messages on Saskatoon city buses are a violation of his human rights and of the separation of church and state.

After his objection was ignored by Saskatoon city council, he announced that he intends to file a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission over the matter.

Whether or not we are Christians, and however we choose to celebrate this special season, may we all aspire to spread good cheer and make the world a better, happier place, not just now but throughout the year.

To that end, I offer you the following, with apologies to both Clement C. Moore and Les Nessman:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, but you’d never have guessed;

For the Times-Herald staff, there is no time to rest.

The news doesn’t stop, and neither do we;

We’ll keep copy coming while you trim your tree.

The stories are written and researched with care,

Though Christmas makes hard news exceedingly rare.

A Boxing Day paper is no easy feat,

So we’ll fill it with interviews with men on the street.

Our editor’s in charge of quality control,

Ensuring our stories are not rigmarole.

She’s also responsible for website patrol,

Deleting the comments from every last troll.

Soon, she’ll be resting, asleep in her bed,

As visions of Las Vegas dance in her head.

Who hides at that sports desk that’s organized so poorly?

It’s that veteran reporter, our friend Matthew Gourlie.

He follows the Warriors, Moose Jaw’s hockey team,

Though reviewing music is also his dream.

And then there’s Brickman; she’s quite a trooper.

She follows sports closely, so no one can scoop her.

A native of Stratford, she’s a born achiever;

We beg you, don’t ask her about Justin Bieber.

Cole loathes Christmas music; “keep it quiet,” he cries,

But we know, further down, that a warm spirit lies.

He covers the courthouse and police without grief,

And goes home each noon hour, to his pet dog’s relief.

Lisa Goudy’s content, though the feeling is fleeting.

The reason? There’s no Christmas Eve council meeting.

She’s steady, well-disciplined, reliable and true,

And keeps our event listings coming to you.

Justin Crann’s from Toronto; he just joined our clan.

If the subject is politics, he’ll be your man.

We know that his Christmas won’t be disappointing

As long as Trudeau isn’t prepped for anointing.

Dustin Gill is our intern, from the U of Regina;

He’s learning the ropes and he couldn’t be finer.

This winter he’s got a new child on the way;

We wish him well, hoping it’s been a pleasant stay.

The short kid, we know, has been anticipating

A meeting with the family of the girl he’s been dating.

A gift will await her on this special night.

No hints! We’ll just say that their future looks bright.

Our news team’s just part of the crew that will bring

The Times-Herald to you each and every morning:

Circulation, plant, business, advertising too,

All doing their work without hullabaloo.

Our production and composing teams are the best;

With them on the job, we can all safely rest.

We thank you for reading your local newspaper,

And pledge that our efforts this new year won’t taper.

And we’ll all say this eve, as we lock up the doors,

“Merry Christmas to all — may the good news be yours!”

Joel van der Veen can be reached at 691-1256.

Organizations: Saskatoon city council, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Christmas Eve council

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Las Vegas, Moose Jaw Stratford Toronto Regina

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Recent comments

  • Chere
    January 02, 2013 - 00:58

    Now I am sure Mr. Solo will want to ban all calendars and boring Sunday television.