Common Sense


Christmas Eve in Laguna

By Michèle Monda

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town

City Council was voting, letting residents down.

The staff was concocting new ways to spend

The resident’s money with hardly an end.


The Audit committee was busy agreeing

That city was handling money too freely.

And Planning Commission was selling downtown

Telling City Council, the new plan was sound.


When out on the streets there arose such a clatter

“Wait,” residents said, “we really do matter!”

Away to the meetings they flew like a flash

Trying to speak, alas only to crash.


The moon on the artwork in front of the city

Gave a cry, “Is it art or is it gritty?”

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a mushroom enticing the tourists here!


With brand new police cars so bold and expressive

I knew in a moment they were indeed impressive!

More rapid than bad guys, the cars did the job

Chasing the criminals—Laguna won’t be robbed.


Now Pietig! Now Kohn!

Now Iseman! Now Blake!

On Dicterow, On Whalen!

On Kempf ! No mistake!

To the end of the meeting!

To the end of the night!

Change it so we can go home

by midnight!


As developers came bearing their gifts

When they met with an obstacle causing a rift

They threw money and magic to obscure their desires

And assumed residents’ objections would retire.


And then in a twinkling the residents fought back

“Wait, this is our town, you can’t do that!

We want new things but keep them compatible

Changing the town is just problematical.”


Laguna was dressed all in lights and good cheer

Forest Avenue was closed—Hospitality night is here!

Why not do this all the rest of the time

Let people stroll to shop, meet and dine?


The ocean—how it twinkled! The beach how inviting!

The grass was a carpet, the boardwalk enticing!

But Staff wanted to change that which we know

And make it a place where no one can go.

With 10 million to spend let’s get rid of our trees

But let sewage flow to the ocean with ease.

The Digester—historic with a little round roof

That shook when Council said “Away” with a poof.


It was chubby and plump, filled with lots of old stuff

A good bath and it could be a real cream puff.

A wink of an eye and the tennis courts next

Could they be a food court or an art complex?


He spoke many words, wanting lots of hotels

Is there parking for those who in Laguna dwell?

Do we need more tourists for which residents pay

Police, lifeguards and bathrooms so they can all play?


Despite all these issues, all these big road blocks

Laguna is paradise and continues to rock.

May I wish you the best and I say clear and bright


“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


Michèle Monda has lived in Laguna Beach for 15 years with her husband, Emil, and three sons. She is secretary of Laguna Beach Republicans and treasurer of Laguna Beach Sister Cities.

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  1. Catchy topic phrasing. But I wonder with the credentials of being administrator for the Laguna Republican or Sister Cities Program’s what does she do? Sounds like there’s memberships to fullfill empty vessels with too much money, that could be making real contributions. What’s next?

  2. Thank you Michele..very catchy and true..Appreciate your time with you columns and dedication to the city! I don’t think we need to know what you do…you do a lot for your country and city!! Merry Holiday!!


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