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.