D.C. Christmas

Dear Friends,

I have a lot to tell you, mostly explanations regarding the setting of the following poem.

But for now, Merry Christmas.


‘Twas the night before Christmas, DC was serene.

Congress was on holiday; no C-SPAN to be seen.

No stockings this year, and no tree to be had:

Such things are too pricey for a recent post-grad.

And I in my sweatpants, with hot mug of tea

Had just settled down for The Grinch on TV.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter

That I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.

My mug hit the floor, and I slipped in the mess

(Mr. Moore missed that detail in his poem, I guess).

I limped to the door to find the source of the din.

A fire?  A flood?  Cats in the trash bin?

When what to my wondering eyes should ensue,

But a fire truck parade, and Santa Claus too.

Their sirens were blaring, their lights bathed the road.

Santa waved and he shouted: a right jolly load.

The children of Riverdale cheered from their curbs.

Good St. Nick would never neglect the suburbs!

The caravan proceeded on toward the next lane,

And I settled back down to the old homesick pain:

All alone on Christmas!  Imagine the woe!

No family, no turkey, no homey place to go.

As I sat with The Grinch, musing o’er my plight,

I heard a faint echo: “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

The moral is this (for a moral there must be):

Christmas is Christmas regardless of tree,

Or socks drenched with tea,

Or what’s on TV.

It’s better with family and friends; this is known.

But sometimes, you’ve got to make Christmas on your own.

So whether you’re far or whether you’re near,

I wish you burn-proof socks and self-generated cheer.



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