Breezy Afternoons

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Covid edition

Twas the Night before Christmas, and all through the house

All the creatures had masks on, even the mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

with hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While memories of quarantine danced in their heads.

Mama with her iPhone, me with a nightcap;

had just settled down with HBO Max.

We turned off the TV to visit our family on Zoom;

We all desperately missed having them in the room.

This year we socially distance away;

To ensure that our loved ones are all here to stay.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter;

I jumped off the couch to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash;

Tore open the curtains and pulled on my mask;

When what to my wondering eyes should appear;

but the Amazon Prime truck, delivering some cheer.

More rapid than dressing to go to the store;

Amazon Prime left what we need at the door.

The driver, he shouted, the packages, they came

And he whistled; he shouted, he called them by name;

Now CHARMIN, now LYSOL, now CLOROX AND SNACKS

On HAND SOAP, on WET WIPES, ICE CREAM and SIX-PACKS!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

A thumping and bumping that sounded like hoofs

He was dressed in bright red, from his head to his mask

And about the room went Santa, completing his task.

A bundle of toys fell out of his pack In these downtrodden times,

Santa brought our cheer back. His eyes – how they watered!

His chest cough so weary

His cheeks flushed like roses, his nose ran so freely

His droll little mouth, covered up with a mask,

“Do you have COVID-19?| I heard myself ask.

The stump of a cough drop held tight in his teeth;

The smell of eucalyptus circled his head like a wreath;

He had a round face and a little round belly

That shook when he coughed like a bowl full of jelly;

He was chubby and plump, a good jolly old elf;

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself,

A wink of his eye and the mask on his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He sanitized his hands and went straight to his work;

Left toys in the stockings; turned his head with a jerk;

Laying a finger aside of his nose;

And giving a cough, up the chimney he rose

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle

But I heard him exclaim as he flew sight unseen,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Vaccine.”

I was little hesitant to post the modern parody of Twas the Night Before Christmas. It isn’t a particularly funny update, but it does touch on some of the very real changes in our life this year. So many Americans are out of work right now, and many more are tightening their budgets as Christmas comes around. Amazon Prime is the new Santa in many cases, with many of us staying at home as soon as possible. We are visiting with family and friends over Zoom calls, and every time someone has a cold or a cough, we get nervous. This Christmas will not be what we are used to. Many people will be spending their first Christmas alone – hundreds of thousands of us will be spending it while mourning those we have lost to COVID-19.

Every year, the Christmas season renews some of our faith in humanity. For a short time, everyone is out looking for gifts to make other people smile. Some are homemade, some are mass produced – in all cases it is the thought and intent that counts. We can find hope again. It begins with us.

What are you doing this COVID Christmas to keep the Christmas spirit alive?

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