'Twas the night before Santa and all through the house...
I worked in the kitchen, trying to resist bitchin'
multiple timers were ticking, fresh bread and bark,
paper needed cutting, presents tied up in bows,
here I was stuck, until lord how long knows.
Papa measured and folded, nearly was scolded,
each present taking an hour to wrap.
And I poured chocolate, Alex cut paper,
the kids iced every cookie, with not a waver.
The children were donned in aprons, colors danced before them,
I began to wonder how long it had been since I'd seen them.
And there from the kitchen arose such a clatter as I hammered peppermints like nothing was the matter.
To the kitchen for supper, fondue in a pot, small plates at the ready, hunks of bread into the lot.
Papa was certain the salty cheese would "give him gout", to this we said, we have our doubts.
Eleven o'clock came and went, finally done was the peppermint,
the chocolate bark that is, and nearly dropping with tiredness,
a cup of black tea gave me stamina-int.
Good thing, too, with chores still to go,
like laundry and presents, so tired dontcha' know
a little caffeine would give me a boost from midnight to morn.
The cookies completed, the kids totally worn,
took themselves to bed; we had the whole night ahead.
We sprang to work, careful of the milk and cookies,
who wants to clean milk from carpet, that would be sucky.
Santa was coming, of this we were certain,
so our gifts needed finished in time for his curtain-
call; oh Santa we believe, we know you'll be here,
even if it means we're missing loved ones dear,
we'll keep traditions and rituals, make the season merry,
you'll live within us, your mission we'll not tarry.
So to 6am bedtimes and 9am wake ups,
we're sure this year is simply a hiccup.
Oh Odin, oh Holly King, Herne The Hunter, Green Man -the same,
you're our Santa, our god Yule, this day is in your name.
You are the hope, the light inside us, the promise of spring,
the goodwill that guides us.
The driver of the sun chariot, the god evergreen.
Through us your generosity lives, the spirit it gives,
the wintertime warms in these small moments of kindness,
the gifts they abound, the love it has found us,
and we look to you, our jolly old elf,
who returns in the mid winter to remind us,
That by every cookie baked, every gift given,
every stocking hung, every candle lit,
with every song sung, with every blessing said,
With those gone before, loved not forgotten,
with every ritual performed, every tradition remembered,
we renew, we live, Hope evergreen inside us.
~Amy Bradstreet, December 24, 2012