‘Twas the Month Before Christmas


’Twas a month before Christmas, when all through the land
Every forklift was stirring, precisely as planned
Products were lined on the store shelves with care
In hopes that the customers soon would be there


The people were nestled all snug in their beds
While Thanksgiving excesses pounded their heads
Their guts packed with cranberries, gravy, and sweets
Turkey and stuffing, potatoes and meats


When into their lives there arose such a clatter
They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter
Assaulting their ears were the synthesized knells
Of the season’s first ads set to jingling bells


“Ho ho ho,” proclaimed radios, TVs, and phones
Compelling the comatose out from their homes
The powerless masses fell into procession
And marched to the mall wearing wild-eyed expressions


Lured by discounts and savings galore
They jostled and jockeyed and stood at the door
A dangerous, determined, and unruly band
Each stood ready to jump, with a credit card in-hand


’Twas still five in the morning but little they cared
The best deals went to the first to be there
To stand in the doorway a waitin’ and hopin’
To jump on Black Friday as soon as stores opened


Then at seven o’clock like some unholy tide
They rushed through the entrance and flooded inside
Some some ran toward ’lectronics with fervor and passion
Some sprinted to Toys and some dashed straight to Fashion


Oh the Tannen, it bombed; the drummer boy drummed
Silver bells tinkled and jingled and numbed
And then to the soft strains of “Silent Night”
The seasonal shoppers, they started to fight


They wrestled o’er barbecues, bean bags, and purses
Grabbing and punching and uttering curses
Filling their carts till the shelves were all bare
While Christmas melodies droned in the air


Onward the Holiday shoppers did press
As Santa’s voice boomed o’er the public address
“On Samsung, on Sony, on Bosch, on Chanel
On Gucci, On Rolex, On Coach, On Mattel!”


The holiday carols went on without pause
Reindeer and elves and old Santa Claus
And those Merry Gentlemen who refused to rest
Convinced the consumers they all were blessed


Under this spell they continued their shopping
Holiday commerce showed no sign of stopping
The weeks went by; the madness persisted
All wore silly red hats; not one soul resisted


They kissed under mistletoe, decked the halls
Hung trees with tinsel and glittering balls
While strains of “The Twelve Days” and “Frosty the Snowman”
Repeated like some evil ominous omen


Till finally a whole month of buying had passed
Christmas morning arrived at last
The people began to open their plunder
They tore ribbons and wrappers and boxes asunder


“Hark,” the herald angels sang
Come look at what Saint Nicolas brang
A drone for Timmy, a tablet for Tommy
A watch for daddy, a handbag for mommy


Transformers and Legos and robots and dolls
Some lipstick, a tie, and some new tennis balls
Gizmos and gadgets, a black evening gown
“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”


For Eddie, a violent video game
For Louis a wireless picture frame
The music dreamed of a “Christmas White”
And chimed all the day long into “Oh Holy Night”


Then gradually people returned to their senses
They somberly pondered their bills and expenses
The toys, they lay broken; the drone had retreated
The tablet was dark, it’s batteries depleted


The pie was all finished; the fruitcake ’d been dunked
The turkey ’d been eaten; the egg nog ’d been drunk
The kitchen was stacked high with bowls, plates, and spoons
But gone was the cascade of holiday tunes


They all sat in silence, a little bit numb
The season was over, “All Ye Faithful” had come
So ready they were to climb up the stairs
Collapse into bed and sleep off their cares


When one of the younger ones suddenly smiled
What wisdom there lies in the mind of a child
She ran ’cross the room so determined and swift
To lay claim to the ultimate holiday gift


She ran past the trains and the dolls and the blocks
With a laugh and a grin she crawled into—a box!
A big cardboard fortress to hide in and play in
Oh what adventures she’d spend the next day in


She pulled out her crayons and markers and glitters
Drew unicorns, fairies, and colorful critters
And I heard her exclaim, ere she slipped out of sight


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Dave Bricker: StorySailing®