JINGLE JANGLED

Each year we greet December
Decked out in green and red.
We count the days ’til Christmas,
And dream of what’s ahead.

We picture happy moments —
The sights, the sounds, the smells —
But as the month progresses,
Our tension level swells.

Instead of just relaxing
And taking things in stride,
We structure every minute,
All knotted up inside.

We haul out wreaths and garlands
And fight with tangled lights.
We decorate our rooftops,
Despite our fear of heights.

We wander seven counties
To find the perfect tree —
A process that requires
A forestry degree.

We send out inkjet letters
To people far and near,
Recounting every detail
About our boring year.

We gobble mounds of candies,
Cakes, cookies, tarts and pies,
Which somehow seek out pathways
Directly to our thighs.

We hear our favorite carols
Five hundred thousand times.
(It almost makes a person
Appreciative of mimes.)

We sit around at parties
We’d rather not attend,
Conversing with the husband
Of our neighbor’s cousin’s friend.

We start exchanging presents
With folks we’ve barely met.
(“Gee, thanks, I’ve always wanted
A mini-ratchet set!”)

As Christmas Day approaches,
Sheer panic fills the air.
The malls are packed with shoppers,
All tearing out their hair.

But there’s another option —
Not gimmicks, or a trick.
Let’s take our inspiration
From jolly old St. Nick:

It’s giving, not receiving,
That matters most, we’re told.
The gifts of love and friendship
Cannot be bought or sold.

So give yourself a present —
Wrap up your Christmas stress,
And mail it off to Nowhere,
With no return address.

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