Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lesson 27: Retro Night Before Christmas Poem

The snapshot above is from last December 30th, my dad's 65th birthday breakfast at Bob Evans.  When the eleven of us are brave enough to out in public together it is always an interesting experience.  Natalie and Erik were happy because food was involved. Ellen and Jack were having fun daring each other to eat jelly packets "raw" and spoonfuls of coffee creamer mixed with syrup.  Linus, I mean Sam, was fine doing the coloring page as long as he had his pink blanket wrapped around his shoulders, and sat between his two favorite people, Grandma and Grandpa.  They didn't seem to think it was weird that the only thing he had for breakfast that morning was a plateful of ketchup. 

I had to include Sam in this photo because he is omitted from the following poem.  I know what you are all thinking---Eloise is holding quite a grudge over this potty training issue, but that is not the case.  The poem below is one I wrote a decade ago, during the Christmas of 2000.  Natalie was 2, Ellen was 2 months old, and the thought of having a son one day was the furthest thing from my mind.   Natalie had just been diagnosed with Autism.  Ellen had the most ridiculous case of thrush you ever did see and also had her days and nights mixed up.  I was completely exhausted and running on caffeine and pure adrenaline.  Sometimes it is then when I find my greatest creativity.  It just occurred to me, that is probably why I did so well in college.  Hindsight really is 20-20.

This version of Clement C. Moore's Night Before Christmas was one of my favorite things to write.   I liked it so much that I used it for my Christmas card that year.  You may have even received one and reading this will trigger your memory.  I've held on to it all of these years hoping to use it again one day.  Never did I think that I would do so in this manner.  A decade ago I didn't even have a computer and "blogging" sounded like a college drinking game.  It goes to show you how much can change in ten years.  My family of four became a party of five.  I cannot live without my home computer and I hardly have to go to the library because I have Mr. Google as my best friend.  Can we all just pause a minute and imagine what is coming for us in the next decade? 

Enjoy your retro Christmas poem.  I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
Merry Christmas, Eloise

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house,
Not a person was sleeping, not even a mouse.

The pillows were stacked by our wood stove with care,
In hopes that a night's rest would one day be here.

Natalie was jumping up and down on her bed,
While Ellen was holding up her wobbly, little head.

With Louie in his sweatpants and Opie in my lap,
We had just settled down for a short winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang to our feet to see what was the matter.

When what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a red, van-like sleigh and two we hold dear.

With a driver and passenger so lively and quick,
We knew in a moment it was Helen and Dick.

More rapid than eagles from next door they came,
And they whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

"Now, Karen!  Now, Elaine!  Now Steve and Louie!
On, Erik!  On, Jack!  On Ellen and Natalie!"

"Let the holidays begin!  Come on, let's have a ball!
Now here we come!  Here we come!  Here we come, all!

As we drew in our heads and were turning around,
Up the driveway the grandparents came with a bound.

Up the porch steps, these two grandparents they flew,
With a bag full of toys and a case of beer, too.

What a pair these two were, right jolly old elves,
That we laughed when we saw them, in spite of ourselves.

Helen was dressed all in red, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all "Tommy" with not one speck of soot.

The stump of Dick's pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
And filled all the stockings then turned with a jerk.

They then sprang to the van; the old engine gave a whistle,
And away they both zoomed like the down of a thistle.

But we heard them exclaim as they drove out of sight,
"Let's stop to get beer!  They're closed tomorrow night!"

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