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Just another Christmas Eve

Poem by Martha Quillen

Holiday – December 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the towns

Parents had adopted grim holiday frowns

For their half-finished projects did in no way resemble

The various items they were trying to assemble.

Though children were nestled all snug in their beds,

With dreams of Mortal Kombat invading their heads,

Mom in the kitchen had a turkey to baste,

Three pies to bake, and not a moment to waste,

And Dad in the next room couldn’t do any more

With the small parts and wires spread all over the floor.

Red-faced and weary with holiday stress,

He hadn’t a clue what to do with this mess.

And then Mom was stunned by such a foul curse,

She ran into the living room, fearing the worst,

And found Dad had cross-wired himself into shock,

But fortunately he was made from good stock,

And though decidedly pale and shaking with fear,

He managed to sit up before Mom drew near.

She took a deep breath and asked, “Are you OK?”

“I’ll be fine,” he replied, “When they abolish Christmas Day.”

And Mom nodded sadly, not knowing what to say

For frankly right then, she wished Dad could have his way.

Then abruptly on their street there arose such a clatter

They both rushed out to see what else could be the matter.

And what to their wondering eyes should appear,

But the driver who’d slid into their plastic reindeer.

He was snow-coated and cold as he emerged from the blizzard,

But who should it be — but the town’s software wizard.

He’d been driving quite slowly, but the traction was bad,

So he apologized profusely as he approached Mom and Dad.

Red-nosed, and shivering, the man felt like a fool,

But he also taught computer arts at the local high school.

And suddenly Dad forgot his alarm,

As he greeted this man with a surfeit of charm.

For Dad could care less if the man was a jerk

As he took him inside and he put him to work.

Mom fed the chilled man hot chocolate and stew

And soon with his help, Dad’s hard work was through.

Then Dad and their guest went in to help Mom,

Making her wonder where this saint had come from.

And when Mom and Dad found out this man couldn’t fly home,

That due to inclement weather, he’d spend Christmas alone,

They concluded their evening with a glass of red wine,

And a hearty invitation to come on Christmas to dine.

And that night, Dad forgot he’d ever had reason

For disparaging such a fine Christmas season.

Whereas, Mom kept imagining her single sister’s glee,

Upon finding out they’d invited a handsome divorcee.

And across town the teacher dreamed of turkey and dressing,

For as it turned out, his little accident had been a real blessing.

Though it may seem during holidays, that nothing goes right

Often in later years, the memories shine bright.

May this season bring you happiness,

And may your burdens be light.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

–Martha Quillen