‘Twas was the night before Christmas,
And the house was a dump.
The kids were feeling Christmassy,
But I was a grump.
The laundry piled up, the table was crummy
No gifts had been wrapped, nothing made that was yummy.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of a happy mama danced in their heads.
But I was working so hard to make them a Christmas,
I didn’t have time for all this merriment business.
For only that morning I had heard such a ruckus
I jumped out of my chair to see what the sound was.
Away down the stairs I flew in a fright
And saw there below me a most disturbing sight.
The lamp on the table that stood by the couch
Illuminated a scene that turned me a grouch.
Why what to my wondering eyes should I see?
But all six of my kids in a grand reverie.
Boxes and papers and tissue galore,
Scissors and glue and glitter on the floor.
Without stopping to ask why,
Or find out the reason,
I flew into a fit, regardless of season.
I snapped and I sent them all to their rooms,
Filling their hearts with holiday doom.
How Grinchlike I felt, how ugly, how Scroogey,
To ruin their fun by being so moody.
I went back to my room where I huffed and I sat,
All that big mess and I still had to wrap!
What were they thinking, those children o’mine,
That I had nothing to do but clean all the time?
The next day dawned—cold, but real sunny,
It was Christmas and–you know what is funny?
We were sitting by the fire, unwrapping our gifts,
When my little girl said, with a bit of a lisp,
“This one’s for Mommy” and in her sweet hand,
Was the gift she had made me, the day I’d been mad.
‘I love you’ it said in a childish print,
Surrounded by hearts with a glittery tint.
Just like that I saw them, these children of mine,
Who made the house dirty most all of the time.
The messes, the laundry, the cooking, the clutter,
Suddenly seemed nothing; my heart softened like butter.
I sat there that morning, surrounded by mess,
And witnessed with wonder their gift-giving fest.
It hit me, it did, in the moments that followed,
That ‘resentment’ was a bitter pill for any mother to swallow.
So I scooped them all up, both babies and teens,
And kissed them and hugged them with all of my means.
What mattered not just this day, but all of the rest,
Were the children God gave me—who cares ’bout the mess?
As I pondered these things, that sweet Christmas day,
I swear I could almost hear St. Nicholas say:
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all, no more fights!’