The Week Before Christmas

(semi-autobiographical retelling of The Night Before Christmas)

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the stores,
Shoppers were buying up presents galore,
The clerks stacked impulse buys near the register with glee,
In hopes of desperate shoppers arriving on Dec. 23.

The children were finished, their presents bought weeks before,
And mom’s been done shopping about a month, maybe more.
But Dad he had waited, unsure what to buy.
He had no excuse; other than to say he’s a guy.

When the last shopping day came, Dad’s pulse it did jump,
At the thought of becoming a non-present buying chump.
So away to the garage, to his car he did haul,
And made haste on his way to the local shopping mall!

Miles from the mall, Dad’s plan hit a snag,
From the snarl of traffic making his travel time lag.
With his time running short, and plans falling apart,
Dad turned in a beeline to the Super WalMart.

The traffic still slow, but with driving skills slick,
Dad navigated his way through the traffic jam thick.
As rapid as molasses to WalMart he came,
Dad screaming, and honking and cursing their names,

“C’mon Chevy! Go Honda, that light’s turning red!
On Nissan! Are you turning? Get a move on I said!
Put your foot on the gas, if you time it just right,
I won’t have to wait another (expletive removed) light!”

As leaves and food wrappers in storm drains collect,
Due to autumn’s cold fingers and fast food eater’s neglect.
Into the parking lot Dad’s car finally did grace,
As ten other cars jockeyed for the last parking space.

And then, in an instant, an open space did appear,
Dad laid rubber to the road, racing every car near.
He pulled into the space, as passersby they did frown,
Dad sprinted to the door, knocking the Salvation Army guy down.

Dad dressed in his jeans and collegiate football sweatshirt,
Grabbed the last shopping cart not completely covered in dirt.
The left front wheel did spin in no particular direction,
As he hastened to peruse the store’s last minute selections.

His eyes, how they furrowed! His preparation? Not very!
The pickings were slim! He had no time to parry!
His lips were all frowny as he pondered each row.
Hoping to find something that he could wrap with a bow.

The last of his fingernails he gnawed in his teeth,
As Dad searched every top shelf and every one beneath.
Of the gifts he would buy, he still had not a clue.
But with time running short, there wasn’t much he could do.

Then Dad saw an option sitting on the store shelf,
And he shrugged when he saw them, in spite of himself.
“It’s not the perfect gift,” he thought in his head,
“but it’ll save me some horror of gift opening dread.”

He spoke not a word as he picked his selections,
And, for good measure, tossed in some chocolaty confections.
And by swiping his Visa through the card reader slot,
Dad finished his shopping, believe it or not.

Dad sprang to the lot with his gifts in the cart,
And away he drove off from that Super WalMart,
But he exclaimed as he drove off these last minute shopping facts,
“Buy gift cards for all, and hot cocoa sampler packs!”

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