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How the Gipper stole Christmas

Grace Concelman | Monday, December 5, 2011

Every Domer in South Bend liked Christmas a lot,

But the Gipper, whose ghost wandered campus, did not.

The Gipp hated Christmas! He had a good reason!

I’ve some idea why — the end of football season.

But that wasn’t all that made old Gipp cross,

Nor was it merely the great perma-frost.

One thing about Christmas old Gipp did detest:

Why did the students have to take all those tests?

Gipp knew the cause of this lack of enjoyment:

Students must pass to find gainful employment.

But in his good heart Gipp had a concern:

“With Christmas so near, just how can they learn?

The garlands, the stockings, the lights and the holly;

It’s too hard to focus when things are so jolly.”

The well-meaning Gipp wondered what could be done,

and then he recalled: “Econ 101!

To help all these students become more attentive

I’ll simply create a learning incentive.

They have to be studying, all that time lost;

I’ll make them forget the opportunity cost.

Take away all the hallmarks of holiday cheer.

Make the whole campus bleak and austere.”

So the Gipper emerged to sneak through the halls,

Take down all the mistletoe, scour the walls.

The sweaters he stuffed one by one into barrels,

And stole all the soundtracks of Christmas carols.

He ripped wrapping paper off doors all dressed up.

He even took every last red Starbucks cup.

But as the Gipp slipped away with his booty,

He floated right past an RA on duty.

“Where are you going with all of that stuff?”

The RA demanded, trying to sound tough.

“Quick, everyone come to stop this old specter,

Please someone run and go get the Rector!”

More students descended with lots of hostility,

“You’re stealing away all our utility!

Consumption at Christmastime brings us much cheer;

It’s why it is still the best time of the year.

Our demand for Christmas is quite inelastic.

You’ll find we will go to lengths quite fantastic

To maintain our spirits as we close a semester

Your theft will not stop us, you Christmas protester!

The Gipp looked around with a tear in his eye

It really seemed as though he might cry!

“Please do not think I’ve an evil mentality,

I wanted to remove an externality.

A consequence you students didn’t expect

When you were ensuring your halls were all decked

Was that Christmas would provide such a distraction;

Not studying would be the normal reaction.

I really just had your best interests in mind

When I took all the Christmas things I could find.”

The students replied, “But a little digression

Helps us not slide into abject depression!

The lights and the sweaters, they make us smile.

Carols and bells make studying worthwhile.

We know, Mr. Gipp, that you meant to do good

But really we think you misunderstood.

Cheerful students do better, we do insist

Yes, Christmas and finals week can coexist!”

The Gipper’s heart sank as he saw his mistake

He returned all the goods, every last snowflake.

The students forgave him in true Christmas spirit,

And they rejoiced loudly so that all could hear it,

Then adjourned to the dining hall to eat a great feast,

And yes, they allowed him to carve their roast beast.

Grace Concelman is a senior majoring in finance and philosophy. She can be reached at gconcelm@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.