‘Tis the night before Christmas, but in our humble abode
All of the creatures are vibrating, on Christmas overload.
The stockings were…oh dear, let me see,
I meant to hang them up, oh where can they be?
The children are hyper, sneaking canes from the tree,
Following me around chanting, “can we watch TV?”
The toddler is crying, Advent calendar in hand,
I tell her Advent is over, but she doesn’t understand.
“CHOCOLATE!” she screams, “Polar Express” they boom,
“Barr Hill Vodka,” sighs hubby as he walks out of the room.
“Want to open a present?” I ask, knowing the reply,
“YES!” “Present!” “ICE CREAM!” each of them cry.
They open their gifts, new Christmas jammies to wear,
The big kids don them quickly, but the baby runs bare.
We wrangle the little one into her jammies at last,
Trying not to think about the hour that’s passed,
Next they write notes, to Santa and his brood,
Then they sprinkle the snow with “magic reindeer food.”
Still pleading for a “Christmas special,” we strike a deal,
“We’ll track Santa on NORAD!,” which seems to meet their appeal.
We quickly load the web page and selfishly taunt,
“Oh no! You better get to bed! He’s almost in Vermont!”
The big kids run to bed, and swiftly switch off the light,
But the toddler yells, “No nigh-night!,” and so begins the fight.
After nursing and stories and songs and more nursing,
She still won’t go to sleep and I feel like cursing!
But just as I am nearing the end of my rope
She nods off to sleep, and I realize there’s hope.
Hubby and I rest only a minute, “ok, what’s left to do?”
We scribble a list, and figure we can be done around two.
He starts to wrap presents, as into the kitchen I run,
I eat Santa’s cookies, leaving only a crumb.
I scribe a quick note from Santa Claus to each kid,
Then I head to the basement to find those other presents we hid.
I emerge from the basement, with stockings but no gifts,
“Where did YOU put them,” I demand, feeling quite miffed.
“YOU put them up in the closet,” he retorts with a sneer,
I think for a minute and it all becomes clear.
I sprint up the stairs to get the remaining Christmas stash,
But as I open the door, the presents fall with a crash.
Within seconds I hear the toddler, whining in her bed,
We freeze in unison, not breathing, filled with dread.
Minutes pass in silence and pretty sure she’s back to sleep,
I gather the packages and back downstairs I creep.
“That was a close one,” says hubby, having finished the pile,
“Only 5 more to wrap,” I throw back with a smile.
We start wrapping furiously, but then he stops, mouth agape,
I look at him and he answers, “That was the last of the tape.”
So close to the end and the clock ringing two,
I am determined to finish, so I do what I need to do.
Since wrapping presents without tape is certainly tricky,
I rummage through boxes to find anything sticky.
I find an assortment of stickers, labels and even a stamp
We wrap and stick so quickly, that my hand gets a cramp.
We stack and sort gifts, and when the last stocking is filled,
We head up to bed, our mission fulfilled.
I look at the clock, feeling a bit forlorn,
But know it will be worth it, seeing their faces in the morn.
We climb into bed, and I put my glasses on the shelf,
But as we are drifting off I remember, “We have to get the elf!”
Hubby begrudgingly retrieves the imp in red
And I go through everything once more in my head.
With a hug and a smooch we say goodnight,
And swear that next year we will get it right.
After this vow I realize our efforts are in vain,
For every year, no matter what, the craziness happens again.
But no matter the sleeplessness, debt and stress,