Over at the What Fresh Hell:Laughing in the Face of Motherhood podcast this week, we’re talking about how to handle the holiday craziness. Here’s a little Christmas poem I wrote for the episode- an ode to holiday simplification, with apologies to Dr. Seuss. Enjoy over your eggnog!
Every Kid down in Kidville liked Christmas a lot,
But their Mom, who was just north of forty, did not.
The Mom hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
And you needn’t ask why, cause there were fifty reasons.
It could be her paper boy hadn’t been paid.
It could be that teachers’ gifts must be handmade.
But I think that the reason her Christmas felt wrong
May have been that her list was three miles too long.
It was quarter past dawn, all the kids still a-bed,
And the dad still a-snooze, when she picked up her head
With no thought of sleeping, with no thought of self
With no thought of naught but the Elf on the Shelf
Who must be arranged in a naughty tableau
Requiring popsicle sticks and fake snow
And a tiny jackknife. Did that even exist?
Perhaps it was no surprise this mom was pissed.
“This is nuts,” she said then, standing in her dark kitchen.
“I’m done with the Rudolph and Dancer and Blitzen.
“My husband can do it this year— or gee whiz,
He’s gonna find out what a nutcracker is.”
But then she felt sad, cause he was a good guy,
And she still hadn’t answered the question of Why?
Why did she bother? Where had it gone wrong?
Whither the Christmas of good cheer and song?
And the Mom, with her bare feet ice cold on the floor,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. “What is Christmas for?
If there were no packages, boxes, or bows,
My kids would wake up and say, ‘This really blows,’
And I mean, they’d be right. Then I’m stuck in the middle.
So what’s the solution to this Yuletide riddle?”
And she puzzled ten minutes, till her coffee was cold.
Then she had inspiration. “What if I broke the mold?”
“What if Christmas,” she thought, “wasn’t all done by me?
“And instead of eighteen gifts, my kids each got three?
And maybe they’re wrapped well, and maybe they’re not?
And the Elf on the Shelf stays in one place and rots?”
And what happened then? Well, on Facebook they say
That that mother’s trim waist grew three sizes that day
Cause she ate all the cookies she’d made to exchange
But instead, she just ate them. And here’s what’s most strange:
The world kept revolving, a blue-and-green ball,
And that nice mother had the best Christmas of all.