‘Twas The Week Before Christmas

by Valerie & Randy Nusbaum

‘Twas the week before Christmas at the Nusbaum estate.

I hate to admit it but things weren’t looking great.

The stockings were waiting to be hung and filled,

the gingerbread house we still needed to build.

Randy was huddled in pain in the bed.

He’d fallen and suffered a bump on his head.

There’s a trophy he covets. He’s determined to win

that darned lighting contest. He’s entered again.

Our neighbor, Big Bob,  put a sleigh on his roof

with Santa and reindeer as if we needed proof.

Bob had been champion for the last seven years

and Randy was bound that he’d have Bob in tears.

My hubby’d amassed a huge yard display

and he added a new piece almost every day.

He’d lit up our trees, our fence, and our house.

I’d feared for our cars, so crazed was my spouse.

And now my poor Randy was out of commission

while I worried and wondered how I’d keep up tradition.

My cards had been sent. At least that was done.

But no presents were purchased, not even one.

I needed to shop for both gifts and food.

Could I leave Randy alone? Would he come unglued?

I called on the neighbors, first Steve and then Brooke

to keep tabs on Randy while I planned what to cook.

I went to the store; didn’t have too much luck.

I couldn’t find turkey so I settled for duck.

The presents I grabbed were tacky and dumb.

I came out of the store with shoe laces and gum.

Feeling downhearted, I dragged myself home

to find Randy much better. He’d dressed like a gnome.

Wait! He wasn’t a gnome. My guy was an elf

and I started to giggle in spite of myself.

That’s when I noticed the tree had been trimmed.

It glowed like a beacon when the lights were all dimmed.

I next spied some cookies, all pretty and sweet!

Oh, who in the world had brought such a treat?

A truly miraculous thing to behold—

The house was bedecked all in silver and gold.

How in the world did you manage all this?

I cried out to Randy. I felt so much bliss.

My mate said he woke and found the house was complete;

The cookies, the stockings, and a turkey to eat.

There were presents all wrapped waiting under the tree.

I couldn’t imagine who’d done this for me.

The jingle of sleigh bells had us heading outside

where our yard was all lighted. It filled us with pride.

The rooftop was sparkling like stars in the sky.

My hubby was beaming, a tear in his eye.

Randy leaned over and picked up his prize.

He’d won that darned trophy, nearly double his size.

We stood there not daring to think it was true

that Santa had been here; his reindeer, too.

Big Bob wandered over; a frown on his face,

Clearly not happy. He’d won second place.

Not one to gloat, Randy still had to grin

At the reindeer memento Big Bob had stepped in.

As you can see, I had some help with this month’s column. We took some license here and there, but it’s the best we could do. As always, Randy is the world’s best helper. I also should point out that since I work for the Banner, Randy is exempt from the real decorating contest. At least I tell him he’s exempt, and it keeps him off the roof. 

Special holiday greetings go out to Grace Borell, who wrote me such a nice note. Grace, you made my day and your photography is beautiful. Thank you for thinking of me. Thanks, too, to our neighbor and friend, Barb, for the lovely basket decorating our front porch the whole fall season. It’s true that people really do masquerade as elves and visit when we least expect it. I also must send greetings to Jan because, well, you know where I live. And to Ruthie Simmel—it’s always a pleasure and thanks for the treats! Randy and I are wishing each and every one of you (even the ones of you who tell me I remind them of a drill sergeant) a peaceful, happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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