Here's the Christmas column offering - published in The Perth Courier on Wednesday, Dec. 17. Ho ho ho!
’Twas the Night Before Christmas, 2008
Well, it’s that time of year again – the time when I join legions of other people who take a perfectly good, classic poem and turn it inside out to serve their own selfish purposes. What would Christmas be without that? So here we go again, with apologies to Clement Clark Moore….
’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Was chaos! And mayhem! And anarchy! And grouse! (Grousing. It should be grousing – but that doesn’t rhyme with house – or housing, for that matter.)
Groom-Boy and MomMomMom Ineeda were scouring the shelves
Hoping to find batteries – and maybe some elves.
“It’s hopeless!” he cried as he eyed all the papers,
“To assemble these toys will be quite a caper!”
“I know it,” she said, as she collapsed in a heap,
“And there’s not much time left – boy, we’re in deep!”
She recalled last year’s promise to start her preparing,
In advance of the season becoming too wearing. (Is that even possible? I mean, really. When you’re working and have kids….Maybe "despairing" would be a better word.)
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a tiny old woman with a sack at her rear.
“Hurray!” Mom Ineeda cried. “I was hoping you’d come!
“I’ve done it again and I’m feeling quite glum.
“Despite every one of my very best intentions
“It IS the last minute – which doesn’t need mention.”
“Who’s this?” Groom-boy asked, with concern in his eye,
“She doesn’t look much like that Santa Claus guy!”
“It isn’t!” Mom Ineeda said, all light and airy,
“Fear not, for this is the Stress-Free Holiday Fairy!”
(I’m always saying, “Fear not!” around the house, you know.)
With a wink and a grin the fairy did scold,
“You haven’t improved much from what I’ve been told.
“The baking, the wrapping, the decorating I see,
“Has all been last minute and comes with no glee.”
(Yeah, it’s the glee I miss.)
“Now pass me those toys,” she with a smile
“And I’ll have them ready in less than a while.”
In a flash she assembled a number of things
Like trinkets and baubles and stuff that will collect dust and be forgotten under the couch in very short order.
(Sorry. Again with the no rhyming. It’s hard to get good poets, isn’t it?)
And next she set to the rest of the house,
Removing clutter and dust and the occasional grouse.
She tidied and vacuumed and mopped and did jigs
And she managed to do it without waking the kids. (Er, kigs. You know what I mean.)
She finished so quickly they both were amazed
But the fairy herself was really unfazed.
“’Tis nothing,” she chuckled as the pair looked around.
“It’s spotless!” they cheered, barely touching the ground.
“Now listen,” said Fairy, “don’t make this a habit,
“When you have time to prepare you really must grab it.”
With that she was gone, and left in her wake
A sparkling clean house and a yummy fruitcake.
“Oh, yay. Fruitcake,” groaned Groom-boy.
Licking her lips, Mom Ineeda heard her sweet cry,
“Have a stress-free holiday, dearies!” Fairy called. “Goodbye!”
Oh, wouldn’t that be so, so nice! The fruitcake, I mean. Well, whether a stress-free holiday fairy shows up at your house or not, Groom-Boy, Boychild, Girlchild and I, Mom Ineeda, wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!
Do you suppose the fairy would jump into the Tay for me on New Year’s Day?