Twas the week before Christmas and Mom was a mess.
Instead of holiday happy greetings, all she felt was distress.
“Only five days till Christmas! It’s practically here.”
She grumbled and bristled, felling no sort of cheer.
Christmas cards strewn the table, cookie cutters filled the sink,
Wassail steamed from the kettle for carolers to drink.
The festivities had started, everything had the appearance of jolly.
But Mom, well, she was a grump, and seemed rather melancholy.
“Don’t pull on the ornaments!” “Ahh! Tinsel’s not to EAT!”
“Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Take the Christmas stockings off your feet.”
The old Grinchy-Ma had forgotten what it meant to have fun,
The moment the Christmasy season had begun.
The stockings needed filled, and that should have been easy,
But the thought of another Wal-Mart run made her queasy.
The cards needed stamps, the lights were a-tangle.
She got a headache hearing the bells jingle and jangle.
She’d slaved in the kitchen making cookies and pies,
Even sampling some, which she bitterly knew would be her waste line’s demise.
Glitter and ribbon, googly eyes and hot glue,
Would these silly festive crafts ever be through?
The Elf on the Shelf got left in the storage.
That creepy grin, those sketchy eyes, this year she just didn’t have the time nor the courage.
Each time she swiped the credit card she thought of the bill.
Were the cheap, plastic gifts worth it? But it didn’t matter—she had Christmas list orders to fill.
Christmas carols blared on the radio. The family had watched The Polar Express.
A Christmas Story, Rudolf, Frosty, But admittedly she sympathized with Scrooge the best.
Under the tree were presents she’d spent many nights wrapping.
They’d done it all, so what on Earth was she lacking?
“But I love Christmas!” she puzzled that night under the covers.
“Why can’t I be joyful, like all the other mothers?”
Mom was stressed to the limit, Christmas had plum worn her out.
She’d been so consumed with the going she’d forgot was the season was about.
She stewed and she puzzled till she could take it no more.
She slipped on her boots and walked out the door.
Down the empty streets she breathed in the frigged night air.
Except for the evergreens, every tree stood bare.
No crowds to fight, no bad deals to be dealt.
Her heart suddenly felt full…Could it be the Christmas spirit she felt?
She’d ate way too much pie, it wasn’t a question.
Still sceptical, she thought maybe what she felt was just indigestion.
As she rounded the corner she saw a neighbor shovelling snow.
Not for himself but for an elderly couple who didn’t even know.
Christmas is about giving! How could she not remember?
A heart-felt gesture, a kind smile, serving a little more all though December.
The stars in the sky seemed to twinkle more bright,
And suddenly she was reminded of an ancient Bethlehem night.
A silhouette through a window of a mother rocking her child,
Took her back to a night long ago with Mary so mild.
Ah, now she remembered. The first and best gift wasn’t purchased in a store.
A price could never be placed. It was worth so very much more.
Not the gifts of the Wisemen: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh,
But a baby. A gift so perfect and pure.
The Christmas cheer she had searched for she’d finally found.
The night taught about giving and kindness without breathing a sound.
“All along I was wrong. It wasn’t in the cooking or under the tree.”
“All along the cheer had to be found inside me!”
So this Christmas as we find ourselves hustling and bustling around,
Don’t forget that it’s not in the busyness Christmas spirit is found.
It’s not in the packages, or in the crowded isles of Wal-mart.
But the simple things, like family, kindness, and doing our part.
Most of all remember the gift of a Son from above,
Given to the entire world out of pure and unconditional love.
Let’s choose to be happy, let’s choose the real Christmas spirit so bright.
And let’s share the sweet message:
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!