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Greetings! Our annual holiday card to readers, in verse

First column, top to bottom: Rob Ford; President Obama. Second row: Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in “Homeland”; Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia; James “Whitey” Bulger. Third row: A still from the movie “Sharknado”; Janet Yellen; Paula Deen. Fourth row: Malala Yousafzai; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and their newborn son, George; Boston Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh; The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Fifth row: Healthcare.gov; Vegard Ylvisaker of Ylvis; the National Security Agency seal. Sixth row: Detroit Tiger Torii Hunter and Boston police officer Steve Horgan; Jonny Gomes of the Red Sox. colton

Greetings of the season, all.

In setting up this conference call

To wish you cheer these holidays

We pray beseech the N.S.A.

To please refrain from scooping data.

(OK, we’ll talk. But maybe later?)

For feeling in the yuletide mood

Our disposition’s not improved

With thoughts of clandestine surveillance

By Santa-suited federal agents.

We’d much prefer the privacy

Of carols trilled around the tree,

Children’s laughter in the air,

Stockings hung with affordable care,

Missives filled with peace and love

And swift access to HealthCare.gov.

Still, sheltering in place tonight

Awaiting news of St. Nick’s flight

To yours and sundry other homes

(Unless he sends delivery drones!)


There really isn’t much to hide,

No firewalls need be applied.

Our mission’s plain, our motives clear:

To tie a bow on one stuffed year.

’Tis true, it’s not quite over yet.

But lest the nog makes us forget

The good, the bad, the lame, the wired,

A recap (some assembly required):

Government got shut down hard

When D.C. played the crazy card.

Whitey finally faced the day

A judge would have him sent away.

The Phoenix died. “The Fox” ran wild.

Brits halloo-ed a royal child.

Cruise ship idylls ran aground.

Casino movie: “Suffolk Down!”

Weiner, A-Rod, Paula Deen —

All endured a rough ’13.

Lance ’fessed up. Detroit went broke.

Rob Ford’s future? Up in smoke.

Hernandez cut from Pats to jail.

“After Earth,” an epic fail.

Bitcoin trading, Chinese hacks;

Weeks of JFK flashbacks;

Deadly twisters, “Sharknado;”

Twitter’s awesome IPO;

Filner headlocks, papal tweets;

Snowplow parents, MOOC geeks;

Twerking, selfies, leaning in;

Snapchats, filibustering;

Rooftop farming, then to table;

Binge watching “Homeland” on TV cable;

Patent trolls, Black Friday brawls —

And one last day to hit the malls!

Not us. No mas. Our shopping’s done.

We’ve other revelries to run

And folks to hail in ragged rhyme


In homage to this tinseled time.

First, pour a whiskey, single-barrel,

For all the hirsute Sons of Farrell:

Pedey, Papi, Daniel Nava,

Closer Koji Uehara.

Salud to bullpen cop Steve Horgan,

Donna Tartt, and Freeman, Morgan.

A special hug to Mary Cheney,

Linda Ronstadt, Rob Delaney,

Edith Windsor, Ty Burrell,

Kristen Kish, and Bob Lobel.

All blessings of this season gay

On Diana Nyad, Gotye,

Banksy, Carlos Arrendondo,

Marty Walsh, and Richard Blanco.

Among pals we’ve wrapped presents for

Are Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Ivan Klima, Omar Sy,

And brave Malala Yousafzai.

Wassail to you, Jennifer F. Boylan,

Mark Pollock, Ben Cherington,

Mireille Enos, Janet Yellen

And ageless Sir Ian McKellen.

Champagne’s on ice for Bonnie Hayes,

The Civil Wars, and Larry Page.

Plates of cookies, trans-fat free,

We’re sending off to Barkhad Abdi,

Susan Collins. Morgan Saylor,

And BuzzFeed CEO Ken Lerer.

In this box, profiteroles

For Amy Brill and Corey Stoll.

Enjoy these gifts, dear far-flung friends,

And those enjoined to listen in.

We come now to the finish line,

A tangled marathon of rhyme

Reflecting on a year that passes

Rearward in our Google Glasses.

May these days of warm embraces

Find you in the best of places:

Safe at home, where you belong,

Filled with joy and Boston Strong.

Joseph P. Kahn decks his halls at jkahn@globe.com.