Small Talk: Home for the holidays

Twas the dawning of Christmas,

the house rocks with glee,

the kids have been up

since a quarter past three.

Every present is opened,

bows shredded, wraps torn,

the toys still look shiny,

but Dad’s looking worn.

I’m still in my bathrobe,

my hair all askew,

I’m covered with ribbons

And pine needles, too.

But then comes the sound

Of bells through the air,

Not sleigh bells, but doorbells.

The in-laws are here.

They left a bit early,

fearing traffic and all,

Gosh, they made such great time,

Here, have a rum ball!

The kids are excited,

woke starving, of course,

That whole chocolate Santa

was breakfast’s first course

Then candy canes, cookies,

hot cocoa for chow.

Have some eggs?

Oh, no thanks, Mom.

Not hungry right now!

I rush in to see,

just what was the matter,

as foam darts fly by

and ornaments shatter.

That sweet Christmas kitten,

just raced up the tree.

Half the lights must come off,

just to set Fluffy free.

We’ve been prepping for weeks,

for this annual tizzy,

we have shopped, we have baked,

we have wrapped. It’s been busy.

And yes, it meant hustling,

a mall parking spot,

and spending some money,

well, spending a lot …

Each child must get gifts,

in equal proportion,

It’s done out of love,

but smacks of extortion

Now it’s off to the kitchen,

the smells are quite merry,

It’s the kidney-squid pie

from dear Auntie Sarry

Uncle Ed’s jalapeno-

cranberry surprise,

Left our lips rather numb

With some tears in our eyes

Shrimp on ice, greasy gravy,

Goose and ham all a’smoking.

All the teens claim they’re vegan?

Please, tell me you’re joking.

And that fruitcake Ann brought,

Now it cannot be proven

But I’m almost certain

I just saw it movin’.

How is it, that through

all the madness of this,

without warning, your child,

gives a hug, a quick kiss.

Can it be that some things

we have done without thought,

are teaching our small ones,

that joy isn’t bought?

Have the babes somehow noticed,

Maybe gotten an inkling,

the joy’s in the giving,

midst the glitter and twinkling?

Well, I heard one exclaim,

very quiet, but sweet,

“Glad you like my gift, mom.

You made Christmas real neat.”

It’s not candy or gift wrap,

Nor the goose, nor the dressing

It’s friends, family, love

That’s the true Christmas blessing

As you clean up the flotsam

And wash that last dish,

That your Christmas is joyful,

is our heartfelt wish.

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