And so we tell the Christmas story
Doorways, windows, hung with glory
It’s not this year the same ole drama
Instead we have a baby lama
Basics, tho, have stayed the same:
Mother, child, dad, proclaim
Their rise from circumstances lowly
To something more exalted, holy
A journey to Dharamsala
Provides a kind of fa la la
And warmer temps than Bethlehem
Plus all that chanting: Om and em

In New York, home to Oldest Boy
Windy swirls bring forth great joy
Let us have a festive Yule
Beat the drums for Sarah Ruhl
Song: to Celia, drink to thee
With hope: it could not withered be
Cookies, chocolate, canes, and taffy,
Send some sweets to our friend Japhy
luster, dabble green
Merry settings, Mimi Lien!
Pray that gifts are none-too-meager
Reincarnate souls are eager
Starved for roast beef, parched for punch
Sustenance at backstage brunch
James and Jon, come trim the tree
Then warm your hands with butter tea
Exclaim excitement, ooh and aah
For Messrs. Dorjee and Abuba
Toasts are ready, glasses raised
To André Bishop, saints be praised!
Ask blessing for each Rinpoche
That (s)he may help dispel dismay
And don¹t forget Yaegashi, James
pulling out those Christmas games
Essay a jig, emit a jest
For soundster splendid Darron West
Gathered round the verdant pine
Sara, Chuck: uncork the wine!
Hark, the weather: see the snow
With Kitamura, Yamamoto
Vault of heaven, boom a peal
For Daniel Swee and Miss Camille
Heav'nly choirs, don't be bratty
Save some treats for Adam, Hattie
Golden cherubs, try to bless
Philip, Paul, Kati, Jess
Anita Yavich, queen of fashion
Dress us all with wintry passion
Glitter scatter, tinsel toss
O'er head of Linda Mason Ross
​Rebecca Taichman guides our show

Heap on her bright mistletoe
Matt A., Julia, dear Barney
Grace us with some candied blarney
Bartlett, angels: gather, sing
As we await our newborn "King."

My rhyme's run out, the end is nigh
But not before I tell you why
I scribble poems from year to year
It isn't just to spread some cheer
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Knows the thrust of my poem's drama:
The work to make harsh conflict cease
Is His (my) message: Give us peace.

Brendan Lemon is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of