‘Tis just before Christmas, and here in my house
I hurry and scurry, like a fat little mouse.
The stockings are hung by the chimney, but bare —
Oh where did I put what I bought to go there?
The gifts are in hiding, all still unwrapped
Though I’ve worked my tail off and wish I could nap.
I’m a cleaner, a chef, a crafter and baker
Like all busy moms, I’m the Christmas-dream-maker.
But I’ve fallen behind, fear it won’t all get done
For I’m just one woman — not three, two, but one.
And I sadly display my most dreadful old trait:
I oft wait to do things ‘til I’m running quite late.
And this makes me crabby, my spirit not bubbly,
I’m scolding my kids and nagging my hubby.
For I need their help, but they’ve no time to spare.
They’re driving me crazy, I’m pulling my hair.
The tree’s still half-naked; there’s no wreath on the door.
There are toys and clutter strewn all on the floor.
The bathroom is grimy; the dust bunnies run free,
The laundry’s in piles straight up to my knee.
The Christmas dinner menu has not yet been planned,
And devoid of a manicure are my tired, old hands.
I haven’t yet thought of what I’m going to wear
Or what I might decide to do with my hair.
I still need to clean, to dust and to sweep,
To scour and scrub and, oh yeah — to sleep.
But slumber’s for sissies and there’s no time for that.
I’ll have to rest vicariously through Max, my cat.
And I can’t help but question, as I do every year
Why I procrastinate, which kills all my cheer?
It’s not like the holidays show up by surprise —
I know that they’re coming, this I realize!
But, yet, I still behave like I had no real clue
Of the stress of December and all I must do.
I know it’s coming, I know what it requires,
I shouldn’t act like I have unlimited hours.
But you know, when it comes to the end of the day
When Santa’s already zoomed in on his sleigh,
I forget all the craziness of the days before
And marvel and wonder at all that’s in store.
The best part of Christmas is seeing my boys
Smiling and laughing and playing with toys.
Reliving the magic from a child’s point of view
Is the most fun thing any adult can ever do.
And that joy is what’s remembered, for sure,
I won’t recall all of the strife we’ve endured.
No one will think about that dinner I cooked,
Or worry over how clean our little house looked.
Christmas isn’t about making perfection renewed;
It’s not about the presents, the tree or the food.
But it’s about faith, and family and love
And a sweet little baby sent down from above.
I tell myself that, sometimes minute-by-minute
As I look toward that day and the joy within it.
Because the spirit of Christmas will come and stay,
Nothing on Earth can ever keep it away.
After basking, at last, in that warm Christmas cheer
Comes a week full of peace that I always hold dear.
Beyond the festivities, a sweet time to rest
While the kids are lost deep in their toy chest.
Come Monday morning I’ll exclaim aloud
To lingering relatives and folks who still crowd,
“Go spend your gift cards, take off to the mall,
And dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
Then I’ll pick up the paper, the gift bags and bows;
I’ll plop down, relax and prop up my toes.
And I might just crawl back to my flannel-sheet bed
To start resting up for the long winter ahead.
And now as I bring this work to a close,
I thank you, dear readers, for heaven knows
How grateful I am for each one of you,
Your support, your love, your feedback, too.
Before I go, one last thing I must say
As we rush ever closer to the holiday—
Merry Christmas to all, draw your loved ones near.
May God bless you and give you a Happy New Year.
Kari may be reached at email@example.com.