FAMILY: Holiday hijinks: memories of the chaos of the season

Columnist Susan Lundy tries her hand at a holiday rhyme

Does this mother’s ode to Christmas sound familiar? Columnist Susan Lundy speaks from experience.

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the bedroom, it’s complete chaos and utter bedlam

Ma in her ‘kerchief tries to pull in the reins, while sugar courses through the children’s veins.

The stockings are hung with moderate care, only one eggnog stain and a tiny tear.

Five cookies set out with Santa’s snack, have gently been nibbled and put right back.

The carpet is tangled with tinsel and cat hair, a forgotten candy cane sticks fast to a chair.

But finally the moon rises over the lawn, the children slow and start to yawn.

Once tucked in bed, the coast is clear, and mom brings out the Christmas gear.

Boxes, bows, ribbons and bags, wrapping paper, tape, Christmas tags.

It covers the table, the carpet, her toes; wrap, wrap, snip, snip, on and on it goes.

Mom peeks at the clock and then looks away, it’s getting late, tomorrow’s a big day.

Finally the boxes are under the tree, ma’s so tired she can hardly see.

It’s time for bed, yes it’s really near; then in walks dad, wanting Christmas cheer.

Sometime later Ma’s finally in bed, sugar plums bump and crash in her head.

Then there’s a cry, a shriek, a scream; it’s two o’clock, one’s having a bad dream.

Mom pulls herself up, stumbles into the night, pats a small back until all is all right.

Then back to sleep, no more than an hour, the other child calls that her belly is “sour.”

Then it’s all quiet throughout the house, till the dog starts scratching, the cat finds a mouse.

And now dawn’s fingers stretch across the sky, the children stir and start to sigh.

“Wake up, wake up,” they bounce on the bed; mom lifts her eyes, they feel like lead.

She grabs those girls and snuggles in close, then they fell back to sleep until the sun rose!

What better gift than an hour’s shut eye: it adds new meaning to St. Nick’s cry:

“Happy Christmas to all,” and he’s so right, when he adds “and to all, a very good night.”