‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a shopper was idle, the stores were all jammed.
The carts were all taken, the traffic—a bear,
We hoped that a parking place still would be there.
The children were whining from dawn until dusk,
“You must spoil us rotten!” they grumbled and fussed.
With MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Saks,
The plastic was certain to work to its max.
When out in the shrubs there arose such a clatter,
I tossed up the bills to see what was the matter.
Away to the bushes I ran like a deer,
“The ladder’s so tipsy; he’s fallen, I fear!”
The cursing and shouting that came from his lips,
Ranked higher than ALL of his Freudian slips.
When, what to my wondering eyes should be found,
But a tangle of lights and my spouse on the ground!
He had twisted and twirled our new lights ‘round his head,
His ankles, an arm—so mad he was red.
More wrath than the Grinch and the Scrooge put together,
He stomped and he thrashed in the cold, snowy weather.
“Now tangles! Now snarls! Be gone in a jiffy!”
“Stop blinking! Stop flashing! Light right now! Look spiffy!”
“To the top of the hedge, to the top of the pine,
Now, light away! Light away! Give us a sign!”
As I helped him untangle himself from the mess,
We spoke of the folks who would soon be our guests.
My brother! His sister! Oh how the list grew!
My parents! His mother! Just WHAT would we do?!
I had not one inkling, how we would endure—
A day so immersed with our kinfolk, for sure.
“There are carrots to peel, and beds to be made!
This floor must be scrubbed! I’m beginning to FADE!”
“The gifts should be wrapped, the tree trimmed just right,
I wonder why I thought my plan was so bright!”
“It’s a bungled up mess!” my husband exclaimed.
“And I know exactly, WHO should be blamed.”
His brow—how it wrinkled! His manner—how wary!
Like the day that America failed to pick Kerry.
The smile he once wore there, oh where did it go?
I searched high and low, there. I just didn’t know.
“So why all the fussing? What IS your big beef?”
“You’d think that Osama was coming! GOOD GRIEF!”
“Your mother—she’ll cook, and my brother—he’ll scrub.”
“When things get too stressful, we’ll all hit the pub.”
“Your sister will wrap all the gifts up with glee!”
“And all will contribute to trimming the tree!”
Then a wink of his eye and something he said,
Soon made me recall, just why we were wed.
“There’s no doubt that our mottled clans have their own quirks.
But stranger than fiction, it actually works.
Like everyone’s crew, we all share some woes.
Each life has some oddness; that’s just how it goes.”
So I hugged him and thanked him for telling me so,
How fitting it was, to be near mistletoe.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live.
Copyright 2004 Melinda L. Wentzel