‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house,
not a creature was quiet. Not even the mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with tape,
and pieces of food – bananas and grapes.
The children weren’t nestled, nor snug in their beds.
They were singing and dancing with hats on their heads.
Husband in his t-shirt and I in my sweats,
yelling and shouting “go to sleep!” threats.
When at the front porch there arose such a noise,
I went to go see, stepping on toys.
The dogs wagged their tails and let out a bark
and then a large man emerged from the dark.
Was it Santa? The one we knew as Saint Nick?
I opened the door to snap a quick pic.
And that’s when I saw his uniform – tan.
Not Santa at all, but the UPS man.
The dogs kept on barking, long after he left.
At any small noise, eight miles west.
While the children refused to lie down in their beds.
My temper aflame, my eyes growing red.
I begged and I pleaded but to no avail.
Then it occurred to me, “By gosh, I’ll blackmail.”
I stood up and leaned against the bookshelf.
And looked at the young ones, “To bed or else…
No chocolate! No Legos! No Frozen! No trains!
No music! No roller skates! No candy canes!
No Batman! No bikes! No Barbie doll!
They’ll dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
And that’s when the tears started to fall.
“You’re the meanest mom ever!” the children did call.
But off to their rooms they finally fled,
to fall asleep or pout in their beds.
And then, in that instant, I heard on the roof,
the distinct shuffle of a reindeer’s small hoof.
Could it be him? Was it finally the time?
Or was it simply that I’d drank way too much wine?
The husband snoring – slumped in his chair.
When, down the Chimney, Santa appeared.
He smiled widely – a rosy cheeked grin.
Then he got out a list and smiled again.
“I can’t give you what you asked for, I’m sorry to say.
But the North Pole isn’t where Xanax is made.
And the elves don’t do Vodka. They’re all under age.
And there is no such thing as a ‘child’s cage.’
But as my gift to you, I’ll offer advice.
Parenthood’s a mix of both naughty and nice.
There are ups and down. Laughter and shouts.
And times when you’ll want to pull your hair out.
But there comes a moment, for what it is worth,
when you will find your own peace on earth.”
Then he motioned me over, to bestow his sage knowledge,
and he whispered in my ear, “Just wait until college.”
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