Just for fun, I thought I’d share a slightly edited version of a piece I wrote several years ago. (How long ago? You ask. Well, the baby who is mentioned started middle school this year.) I am grateful to now have older children and slightly less chaotic holiday preparations.
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through our home
lay garland and tinsel and white peanut foam.
The stockings were sticky with smushed candy canes.
The frosty white snowmen had hot cocoa stains.
The children had found some fake snow in a can
and were chasing the cat and the dog as they ran.1
My husband and I with a huff and a puff
emerged from the basement with more Christmas stuff.
I tripped on the dog and came tumbling down.
The tinkle of glass could be heard throughout town
as the box that was full of quite breakable wares
went flying and rolling right back down the stairs.
My husband fell too and let out a slight moan
as his hand came down hard on a prickly pine cone.
At this point the baby was crying in fright.
The dog and the cat now had both been sprayed white.
I said, “That’s enough of this holiday mess.
Let’s go out to eat.” And my family said, “Yes!”
We hopped in the car, sped away without qualm,
were longing to find some true holiday calm.
We turned on the radio hoping to hear
a musical dose of true holiday cheer.
Instead we heard “Jingle Bells” barked out by dogs
then one about Grandma now dead, killed by Claus.
On top of this heartwarming musical treat
the kids made their toy demands from the back seat.
They’d smuggled some catalogs into the car
and marked nearly everything there with a star.
From dolls that go pee-pee to Legos that zoom,
those really cool robots that clean up your room.
“I want this!” “I want that!” is all that I heard.
“No presents this year if I hear one more word!”2
Of course, I wouldn’t make good on my threat,
since the doll and her diapers, the new Lego set
were already wrapped, waiting under the tree.
And the robot . . . yeah right. Maybe in their dreams.
The week before Christmas is crazy, it’s true.
I get overwhelmed ’cause there’s so much to do.
Still I’ll bark “Jingle Bells” so all an hear it,
trying to muster that holiday spirit.
The kids are insane and the house is a mess.
But that’s how it should be. So merry Christmas!
1Please note that factual accuracy has been disregarded in the interest of rhyme scheme.
2Except this. I really said this.