‘Twas a week before Christmas and all through the house,
Several creatures were stirring, though nary a mouse.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of video games danced in their heads.
And I in my nightgown, Pure Luck in his cap,
Had settled our brains for a cold winter’s nap.
For some reason, however, I woke in the night,
Laid awake for a while and considered in fright
All the things left to do before Christmas day
And the stuff I forgot for this coming Sunday
Which arrives very shortly, and so I got up
And began to do dishes and checked on the pups
Who both slept so soundly it did my heart good
Then I turned to the laundry as quick as I could.
The towels, you see, were not yet in the dryer,
My son had forgotten to move them and fire
Had not broken out, which is good news at least,
But wet towels in the morning would make me a beast.
As I came back upstairs I began to remember
Things some people did long ago as September
Like arrange the refreshments we need for today
When the pageant is over and kids want to play
The ladies from Guild will make coffee and tea
But when they see no cookies, they’ll surely blame me.
Then I fret about later, when we will go caroling
(My musician backed out, our singing will be howl-a-ling)
And remember I promised a sign to be hung
At a nursing home where these carols will be sung
It’s a little late now to be hanging a sign
And I know my dear lady there will surely whine
I have no one to blame but myself, don’t you know,
And with no one to blame but myself, here I go:
Oh, Songbird, why can’t you remember the stuff
That you say you will do? I have had quite enough!
What of the sweaters? The Christmas Cards? Why
Aren’t you finished with those, Songbird, why?
Well, forgive me, mean self, for not being as good
As the inner voice likes to insist that I should
For I seem to speed through every day of the week
And manage to get most things done, though I squeak
Barely by in some cases, but still I do most
Of the things on the list, I don’t coast!
I don’t coast! I pedal and pedal until I could fall
Asleep, but then why did I wake in the small
Hours of the night, when I really am sleepy?
It’s cold and my shoulder is sore and I’m weepy.
It must be the party, those glasses of wine
I relaxed in the evening and felt mighty fine!
But in the dark hours I wake up and worry
At a time when I can’t fix it all in a hurry.
I’m looking for hi-tops for a boy who’s in jail
My Christmas cards still aren’t ready to mail
(I printed the letters, but that’s all I’ve done)
And, bless me, I took out some time to have fun
With my husband this weekend, that can’t be so wrong!
He’s the one who makes sure that the bird sings her song.
So, darn it all! Let the church people eat cake
That the people who work at the grocery store make
Let the poor Songbird rest as the sleeping dogs lie
If you cut her some slack, so will I, so will I!
Yes, I’ll go back to bed, put my head on the pillow
I’ll try then to sleep—I took three Advil—oh!
The worries I’ve had I will drive out of sight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!
(with apologies to Clement Clark Moore)