Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. Some assembly required.
Yes, gather your unassembled toys, your tools and your sixpacks, folks. It’s that special night when reindeer fly, children dream, and parents assemble gifts. All. Night. Long.
For such a wondrous, joyous, never-flippin’-ending occasion – and since I’ll be very busy this evening – I have written a poem. No, no, don’t thank me. Just send help. Please?
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Two parents were cussing, I called him a louse.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Visions of working toys danced in their heads.
And me with directions, and him with his tool,
Got me thinking “For this? I deserve some new jewels.”
Down by the tree there was nothing but work,
Me yelling “Not that screw, you big, clumsy jerk!”
Then right beside me there was such a clatter,
I said “For $%* sake what the *#@$ is the matter?”
He tossed the pliers down and said “Ouch!”,
Then threw himself over, kerplunk, on the couch.
The moonlight on top of his sorry old head,
Made me feel bad for nasty, mean words that I’d said.
“C’mon honey,” I told him, “let’s just hit the hay.
Tomorrow we’ll do this. Better hooch on the way!”
He shook his head no. “We must get this done.
If their toys aren’t together, they won’t have much fun!”
More rapid than arrows, my cusses then came.
I whispered them loudly and spoke names in vain.
As parents will do, we wanted to please,
And met with directions writ all in Chinese,
We went on ahead through the night with our mission,
Me trying, but failing, to stop all my witching.
And then, in a twinkling, we fell fast asleep.
The parts strewn around us, a crazy-quilt heap.
As I slept, I dreamt of the big man in red,
Perched at the foot of my childhood bed.
His eyes, they still twinkled, his dimples, still merry,
And I felt just like I was back in the 70s.
But as I looked down at myself in my dream,
I saw belly and hooters and wrinkles extreme.
I said “Hey Santa, it’s work, now that I’m older,
It’s crazy, I’m tired, please, rub my shoulders?
These toys, they’re messed up, missing parts, bad directions…
Got the sprockets and whatsits all in the wrong sections!”
He spoke a few words, before getting his start,
“You have to stop buying these toys from Wal-Mart!
Cheap junk made in China, we all hate it too…
Those elves end up fighting like they’re from the zoo.”
And laying his old hands on top of my head,
Right there in my dream on my little-girl bed,
He told me “I know that – at your age – it’s work,
But you gotta stop calling your old man a jerk.”
He sprang to his feet, disappeared from my sight,
And I drifted and dreamed on through the cold night,
Then came the small footsteps, and I thought “Oh crap!
Their presents, they are not finished – or wrapped!”
I nudged my old man, by my side on the floor,
As the kids’ little footsteps drew close to the door,
And what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But assembled, wrapped toys – and a six-pack of beer!
What a jolly old elf, that Santa still is!
Christmas is for all, not just for the kids.
What else did I learn, my valuable lessons?
Less Wal-Mart, less witching – cut back on the cussin’.
Dawn Weber is a Brownsville
writer, wife and mother of two
pre-teens who commutes daily to
Columbus for her full-time job.