I wonder how many millions of awful renditions of Clement Clark Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas exist out in the world? Well, here is one more – my almost-annual offering – to add to the collection. With apologies, again.
’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
People were yelling and starting to grouse.
The stockings were hung from the imaginary chimney with care
But under the Christmas tree it looked kinda bare.
“Our presents!” wailed Girlchild. “Where could they be?
“I’ve looked and I’ve looked but there’s nothing for me!”
“It’s true,” moaned Boychild, with an enormous pout.
“Presents are what Christmas is all about.”
I rolled my eyes and started to scowl
And threw in for good measure a bit of a growl
As I shovelled my way through the untidy piles
Of toys and belongings that stretched on for miles.
When I tripped on the clutter I started to wonder
If child-rearing is forever a long, constant blunder.
“Why would you people think that is so?
“Christmas is about giving, didn’t you know?”
The kids were distracted, though, by the TV
Which was blaring about some sort of house for Barbie.
“I am so getting that!” Girlchild announced
Before out of the room the kids decidedly flounced. (I spend a lot of time decidedly flouncing out of rooms myself. I mean, it makes for a perfect exit. The “decidedly” part is particularly compelling, don’t you think?”)
When in the next room there arose such a clatter,
I knew they’d be occupied with incessant chatter.
I scooped up some clutter and looked all around
But a space to put it could not be found.
I sank in a chair to consider this plight
And talk myself out of a getaway flight.
When what to my bloodshot old eyes should appear
But the Stress-Free Holiday Fairy™ of course! Never fear!
I flew from the chair and threw open my arms.
“I am so glad to see you! I have missed your charms!
“My house is awash in a sea of debris
“And all my kids talk about is ‘Me me me me!’”
With a wink of her eye and a grin big as London
I just knew she could help me with my conundrum. (Say – now there’s some interesting rhyming!)
“Now, dearie,” she said, with a pat on my arm,
“Take a deep breath and you’ll come to no harm.
“Think back several decades to when you were a child
“And remember how unwrapping presents was wild.”
“You lost me at ‘decades’ I said with a frown,
“You sure know how to bring a room down.”
“Nonsense!” she said, “You just need rest
“As well as a reminder of how much you are blessed.”
She pulled out her wand and things started to fly.
The clutter was moving from where it did lie.
Four piles of belongings formed on the floor
And the Fairy then beckoned towards the front door.
“Now gather your family here in this room
“And explain to them some people are facing a gloom.
“With these unused belongings given away
“You might be able to brighten their day.”
With that I gathered the clan ’round the heaps
And explained we were giving these items to peeps.
So as we all worked to pack up the things,
The Stress-Free Holiday Fairy™ spread her wings.
“Enjoy this giving,” she said into the night
Before winking and grinning and then taking flight.
Boychild, Girlchild, Groom-boy and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2010!
Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 23/10