by Roger White
Twas just weeks before Christmas, and all through the pad
The family was doing its darndest to rouse Dad.
With Thanksgiving turkey still digesting, somewhat static,
I was instructed quite sternly to fetch the tree from the attic.
Up there amid the cornucopia of raccoon and rat droppings
I emerged stiff and sore from all the crawling and kneeling,
Yet I was thankful this time I didn’t fall through the ceiling.
We set up the faux fir, still tall but a bit thinning,
Then we threw on the tinsel and bulbs and the trimming.
The wife and I then noticed something odd and perplexing,
Our usually gung-ho helpers were too busy texting.
Our daughters, you see, are now teens oh so typical,
Self-involvement in this species has reached levels almost mythical,
So I barked, “If you two jokers want a visit from Saint Nick,
Ya better put down the phones and start decorating quick!”
With some grousing and squawking we got the house squared away,
We even found our old snoring Santa to put on display.
Then the tree lights turned off, an infuriating quirk,
’Cause I had to find that one lousy bulb that wouldn’t work.
I pried what I could from his mouth with my pencil.
Our cat then pounced on the tree like a leopard,
Causing the whole thing to crash into Baby Jesus and the shepherds.
It was about this time I started debating my sanity
As I chased my tinsel-munching dog, filling the house with profanity.
So the girls hightailed it to the mall for some shopping;
I caught a glimpse in the mirror, my hair flecked with rat droppings.
On Visa! On Amex! On Discover and Capital One!
Charge away, charge away ’til the buying is done.
To Nordstrom! To Brookstone! To Abercrombie & Fitch!
Charge ’til my credit rating’s down in the ditch!
So I propped the tree upright and shooed the animals away
And opened a cold one; this was the end of my day.
I toasted my loved ones as they drove out of sight,
Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.