Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
All the creatures were stirring – likely including a mouse.
(Or rather a rat, but with traps he wouldn’t have a very merry Christmas moment.
Bah Humbug rodent!)
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
But no fire was there
Because the tree was pretty much dead, with dried leaves sprinkled upon the mantle
And would have lit it up like a Christmas candle.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
flinging toys across the room and at one another’s heads.
Yelling for more water, hugs and kisses as a stalling tactic,
While their father and I warned them St. Nick was about to get very anti-climactic.
Dad with his beer, and I with my large glass of wine
Had just settled down to wrap all the presents, tag and assign.
When all of a sudden from the living room arose such a clatter
Dad was assembling the Little Tykes playhouse and extra pieces were the matter.
The moon shining through the deluge pouring down from the storm
Gave the luster of an attempted white Christmas, except slightly more warm.
When the pounding of raindrops and protesting gutters began to trick my ear
Sounding significantly akin to Santa’s sleigh and his reindeer.
But then came a flash of fur, a crash, much ripping, and tearing of togs.
I knew in a moment it must be the damned dogs.
Angrier than the Grinch and spitting fire he came,
He grumbled and shouted, as he yelled out their names.
“Bad dog! Bad bad dogs! Out Cooper! Out Scout!
This is the labrador’s fault – I have no doubt!
Into the garage, and don’t you dare pee on the wall!
Now get out. Get out. Get out all!”
As gift bags with teddy bears and hand sanitizer proved too much to tempt,
Our canine companions had eyed certain presents and made their attempt.
They had eaten an entire box of candy canes with great gusto and cheer.
This damned better well end in minty doggie breath through the new year.
I was dressed in flannel pjs, from my head to my feet,
but my clothes were all stained with Zinfandel – spilled during a tweet.
A mountain of toys piled up under the tree
And this was before the grandparents arrived with an entire Toys R Us, guaranteed.
Our eyes – how they twinkled. Our smiles still merry.
(No doubt with help from the wine coloring my cold nose like a cherry.)
And I laughed when I saw us, in spite of myself
Knowing this would likely be our last year without that blasted Elf on a Shelf.
We finished our work, exhausted and tired
But the promise of our toddlers reaction still left us a little bit wired.
The Keurig was prepped to automatically brew coffee tomorrow,
A morning without my caffeine would be quite the cause for sorrow.
My son was still chattering when we stumbled up the stairs,
Likely recounting all the year’s important events with his bears.
I envisioned his round little face and chubby chipmunk cheeks
With the youthful innocence that will be gone in what seems like mere weeks.
So I embraced the holiday spirit as we finally turned off the light,
Happy Christmas to all – and those with small children – good luck sleeping tonight!