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The Night before Christmas
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Light the Fire Again



"Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.
Instructions were studied and we were inspired,
In hopes we could manage "Some Assembly Required."

The children were quiet, asleep in their beds,
While Dad and I faced the evening with dread:
A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's town house to boot!
And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

We opened the boxes; my heart skipped a beat...
Let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!
Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
if we can't get it right, it goes in the basement!

When, what to my worrying eyes should appear,
But 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,
With each part numbered and every slot named,
So if we failed, only we could be blamed.

More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
All over the carpet they were scattered about.
"Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!

Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand.
"Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand."
And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
To keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
with "assembly required" till morning's first light.
We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
till our eyes, they went bleary; our fingers all hurt.

The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
before we attached the last rod and last pin.
Then laying the tools away in the chest,
we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.

But I said to my husband just before I passed out,
"This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.
Tomorrow we'll cheer, let the holiday ring,
and not have to run to the store for a thing!

We did it! We did it! The toys are all set
for the perfect, most perfect, Christmas, I bet!"
Then off to dreamland and sweet repose I gratefully went.

Though I suppose I should not have become so self-deluded -
I'd forgotten that batteries are never included!