Thursday, December 24, 2009

T'was the Night Before Christmas

Joyce asked, "I wonder what we did for Christmas last year?" Then she answered her own question with, "Oh, I know -- I'll just check what I was blogging." It seems (from Joyce's recording of events) last year we celebrated the Lord's birth by trimming shrubbery and watching James dash off to see his new-found love every chance he got.

Despite my having never been one to doubt the completeness of Joyce's journal, I thought to myself, I wonder what I wrote this time last year? A couple of keystrokes later, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but ... this post from last Christmas Eve:

'Tis the night before Christmas and up at the table,
Little Ben is a-scribbling as best as he's able,
The kids at the school have been dissin' the man,
So Ben's little mind is devising a plan.

Ben should be nestled all snug in his bed,
But questions of truthfulness buzz in his head;
He scrawls on his card stock; I bring the ink pad.
He's cleverly testing if he has been had.

The milk and the cookies have always been downed,
But now he needs proof a little more sound.
His marker, it moves with a flair and a flash,
"Lev your tum print Santa---" he ends with a dash.

Our little wise guy, so cunning so slick,
Has baited his trap for alleged Saint Nick.
Then carefully sets out the ink pad and note,
So Santa will use it (like Iraqi's all vote).

"Ben's dashing, now dancing, now prancing, and fixin'
to check if old Santa rides a sleigh that he sits in!
I say, "To bed with ya now!" [down the end of the hall]
"Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
So Ben mounts to the bunk, his bed way up high.
Then Mom and I wait for the whispers to quiet,
We've got us a ploy, but not sure if he'll buy it.

Next morning Ben's thrilled by the handsome ink blot,
But checks out each hand, looking for spots.
With nary a stain on the parenting mitts,
He exultantly cries, "There is a Saint Nick!"

Mom and I stifle our dance in the zone,
(lest high-fives now possibly make our sin known:
With a wink of my eye and a nod of her head,
Without overt lying, we've once more misled).

A year then has past and (kids getting pubescent)
I figure it's high time that I get confessant.
I lay out the truth as plain as you come,
Answers Ben back: "How 'bout the print of the thumb?"

"Didn't check my toes, didja?" I humbly admit.
Ben looks at me hard, then utters, "Aw ... shux!"
But he heard me exclaim, ere he walked out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to y'all, and to y'all a good-night."

This little stab at poetic parody would be complete ... if that were all there is to the story. But alas (as you may note) the poem makes a one-year leap. Amid that year betwixt my deception and my confession, I had a conversation with Ben's oldest sibling, who at that time was a strapping sixteen-year-old.

Dad: Andy, I'm really proud of you for playing along with the Santa thing for the sake of your little brothers.

Andy: But Dad, I still believe in Santa, too.

Dad: Really?

Andy: Yup!

Dad: But don't kids at school make fun of you for believing in Santa?

Andy: Sure ... but I still get presents from Santa and they don't.

Dad: Ahhhh! So it's a mercenary thing?

Andy: Of course.

Dad: In that case: Andy, I'm really proud of you for playing along with the Santa thing for the sake of money.


Mrs. JP said...

Awww,,,Andy, way to go. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

joyce said...

It is not the money, its the stuff...quote from the Jerk movie

Bob said...

All I need is this ashtray, and this chair, and this paddle-ball game. And my [cat]... I don't need my cat.