River City Jules: Santa holds off on retirement

Monday, December 20, 2010

‘Twas the week before Christmas

And all through my brain

My to-do list was running

Just like a freight train

From making my lists

To checking them twice

Ignoring the naughty

And spoiling the nice

The children all nestled

Each night in their beds

While visions of Pillow Pets

Danced in their heads

My husband in sweat pants

And I in my flannel

Sipped wine by the TV

While surfing each channel

When down through the chimney

One night by surprise

St. Nicholas landed,

Concern in his eyes.

“My reindeer are ready,

And so is the sleigh;

My elves have been working

All night and all day.

“The Mrs. can’t wait

For her yearly Girls’ Night

She has while I make

My deliveries by flight.

“But my inbox is packed

With requests for a gift

From Black Ops to Hogwarts

And Bieber to Swift

“A Game Cube and Xbox

For all girls and boys,

And when will Steve Jobs quit

Inventing new toys?

“I just can’t keep up

With the ‘wants’ and the ‘gets,’

I still have five cases

Of last year’s Zhu Zhu pets!

“This stress of wish-granting

Is too much to bear.

I’d like to retire,

Would anyone care?”

We patted his back,

For we knew how he felt.

I offered him cookies,

He loosened his belt.

“Dear Santa,” I started

While pouring his drink,

“I can see how the season

Of giving could stink.

“But the joy that you bring

Every year can’t be measured.

It’s your magic, not gifts,

That is annually treasured.

“So please don’t retire,

At least not this year,

Dear Santa, we need you,

Have I made myself clear?”

I watched as the worry

Vanished from his round face

And that familiar old jolly

Returned in its place.

“My Jules, you are right,

And I’ll tell you this too,

There is no greater happiness

Than giving to each of you.”

And with that he smiled

As he stood up to go

Back through the chimney

And into the snow.

But we heard him exclaim

As he herded his deer,

“Merry Christmas to all,

And a happy new year!”

— Julie Dunlap can be reached at go@ljworld.com.