Surviving Christmas
Surviving Christmas

Surviving Christmas


December 1 st 2008
Appears in Winter 2008

was a movie released
by DreamWorks in 2004,
and the day after
Christmas that year
brought the largest tsunami
in recorded history—

a 600-mile crack in the floor
of the Indian Ocean,
releasing the energy
of 20,000 atomic bombs,
moving fifty-foot waves
along thousands of beaches.

The movie, which
was supposed to be funny,
had been universally
panned as “demented”
despite its star-studded
cast. The tsunami

was reviewed by then-
of the U.N. Kofi Annan:
“You wonder, where
are the people? What
has happened to them?”

Empty theater,
litter-strewn parking lot;
230,000 dead or missing.
The star of Christmas
had risen, as usual,
between the dusk

of our own foolishness
and the thick night
of natural tragedy,
and we at home, singing
songs and giving gifts,
had allowed ourselves

to believe something
we could not really see
but that had to be
more powerful than, say,
a tsunami to be worth
even thinking about.

Aaron Belz
Aaron Belz

Aaron Belz is a poet and essayist who has published work across a spectrum of journals, such as Books & Culture, The Washington Post, Boston Review, Paste, Fence, McSweeney's, and Fine Madness. He has published two books of poems, The Bird Hoverer (BlazeVOX, 2007) and Lovely, Raspberry (Persea, 2010), and a third collection is forthcoming from Persea. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.


Download and Share Articles From The Comment Reader

An introduction to Public Theology for the Common Good

Want more of the same fresh, thought-provoking content delivered right to your inbox once a week?