‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Well almost, but now Thanksgiving is over we can talk of Christmas . . .

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was sleeping, especially my spouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with screws. (If you can’t find the nails, what else do you use?) The children were restless, awake in their beds, while visions of spanking them danced in our heads.

I worked in my bathrobe. My husband, in jeans, had gone down to the den with directions and dreams to assemble a bike that came in small pieces with deflated tires and fenders with creases.

Soon down in the den there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my task to see what was the matter. Away to my husband I flew like a flash, he was shuffling through cardboard, his actions were rash.

The bike on the rug by this flustered Dad soon gave me a hint as to why he was mad. He needed a kick stand. It had to be near.

I shuffled some papers, he saw it appear! We twisted the screws; we were lively and quick, and soon knew assembly would be quite a trick. Faster than eagles in flight all the pieces were found, as he whistled and shouted for parts all around.

“Now socket! Now pedal! Now tires! Now brakes! On handles ! On kickstand ! On horn! Oh . . . but wait!” In the top of the toolbox, he fumbled around. “I need two more screws!” he said with a frown.

And like all good parents, determined to please when they meet with an obstacle late Christmas Eve, we shouted and yelled some complaints to each other. There was never more frustrated father and mother.

And then, in a panic, we heard on the stairs the prancing and hopping of four little feet! I opened the door and was turning around, when kids burst from the hall with a leap and a bound.

They were dressed all in flannel, from their necks to their knees, and their night gowns, were soiled with sugar and cheese.

Excuses poured forth from each pair of lips, and they stood in defiance with hands on their hips. Their eyes were wide open, and each little child jumped when I yelled with a voice hardly mild. They were frightened but cute, though much bigger than elves  but with a. wink of an eye and a pat on the head soon let them catch on they had nothing to dread.

They saw not a thing but went straight to their beds, and we finished the bike and put bows on the sleds.

Then wheeling the bike to the tree, and out of sight, my hubby announced we should call it a night. He rose to his feet,  sprang to his bed, and to the clock gave a whistle, for the time had flown by like a large Titon missile.

But I heard him exclaim as he turned out the light, “Merry Christmas to all, and for you, my dear? Next year ?  ? ? , NO BIKES.”



(Apologies to original author P.R. Van Buskirk 1985)




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