Merry Christmas!

     ‘Twas the night before Christmas,

When wrapping gifts in the spare bedroom,

Mom and Dad were sitting in a puddle of ribbon, paper, and warranties.

By midnight it was plain to see, that they were getting cranky.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

 In hopes that Santa would soon be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

With flashlights and blueprint’s to catch Santa, danced in their sleepy heads.

And Mommy in her bathrobe, tape stuck on her nose and I in my ski jacket, raced out into the cold.

The easy-to-assemble dinosaur diorama (with 99 parts and one -soon to find out-missing) in the car I went to pluck.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I hit my head on the trunk, like to see, what was the matter.

Away to the street I flew like a flash.

Tore open my jogging pants and fell across the grass.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a luster of midday to our roof’s clogged gutter.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleight and eight tiny reindeer,

With a lump in my throat and noticing a beaming light in the kid’s room I ran like crazy and tumbled into the living room.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!  To the top of the porch!  To the top of the wall! Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

I gasped for air and calmed my jitters,

By laying under the Christmas tree glitter.

It was a shiny silver aluminum tree,

With red and green strobe lights sitting below, that twirled and danced and splashed all over me.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof.

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew out my head, from under the tree,

Down the chimney, Santa came to greet me.

Tarnished with ashes and soot, he was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.

With a bundle of toys, he had flung on his back, he gave me a lecture on yearly chimney cleaning, sighting a danger, that was sitting there brewing.

We talked of life and what the last year had brought,

I told him we paid off the freezer and tried to be good.

He paused and drank the glass of milk,

And ate the plateful of cookies the children had left.

He went straight to his work,

Filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

With a wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,

He spotted the bowl sitting by the fireplace ledge.

I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

My wife’s homemade carmel corn had glistened from the bowl.

One bite and with a shout of glee,

He asked for the recipe, please.

7 quarts popped corn

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup white Karo syrup

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks butter

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

l teaspoon vanilla

Boil the brown sugar, Karo, butter and salt for five minutes.  Remove from heat and add soda and vanilla.  Pour over the popcorn and mix well.  Pour into cookie sheets and bake in a 250 degree oven for one hour.  Stir several times during baking.  Delicious!


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