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(batteries not included)

Twas the night before Christmas,

when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
not even my spouse;
With only six hours left,
until morning light,
Assembling kids' presents
would take me all night.

19,000 pieces -- bolts,
washers and screws,
To be put together,
and me with no clue;
All I had for tools were
some needle-nose pliers,
A Swiss Army Knife
and a Phillips screwdriver.

When out on the lawn
there arose such a racket,
I threw down my pliers
and put on my jacket;
I swung open the door,
to check out the noise,
And saw a red-suited man,
bringing more toys.

I shouted, "Hey, you on my lawn,
what's the idea!"
As my shrubs were being eaten
by eight small reindeer;
The big man looked up at me
and said with a smile,
"There's more to assemble --
it will take you a while."

"My kids don't need more toys,"
I countered right quick,
But he wouldn't hear "no,"
that stubborn Saint Nick;
"These new toys have
detailed instructions," he said,
And he winked as he lifted
a bag from his sled.

Then he pulled a bunch of
woodchips out of his bag,
"It's a dollhouse," he said,
as he looked at the tag;
"It has 6,000 small pieces,
plus one or two,
You can make it
if you have a gallon of glue."

"And, there are no axle holes
on this toy car,
With only two wheels
it won't go very far;
Perhaps you can whip
up some rubber for tires,
I'm sure you can do it
before you retire."

"But Nick," I pleaded,
"don't you have simple toys?
Can't they build simple things,
those elves you employ?"
"How 'bout a ball, a rag doll
or gun that shoots darts,
Or some other present
made of only one part?"

Santa said, "Those kinds of toys
are passé these days,
It's complicated gadgets
that are all the craze;
So, please take these here toys
and I'll be on my way,
I have houses to get to
and visits to pay."

"I don't want any more toys!"
I yelled quite in shock,
Then I slammed the door shut
and I secured the lock;
I took off my coat
and went back to my bench,
And tried to read the directions 
all printed in French.

Then just as I found
I was missing a screw,
That old coot came sneaking
right down through my flue;
"You forgot all these toys,"
said the man dressed in red,
 Then he put his sack right down
and here's what he said.

"You're not alone staying up
all through the night,
Parents all over the world
are in the same plight;
They don't have the right tools,
or any instructions,
They're eyes are bleary
and they're minds don't quite function."

Then he left me there speechless,
alone with my work,
And filled all the stockings,
then turned with a jerk;
And laying his finger
aside of his nose,
And giving a nod,
up the flew, 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 jumped
in his sleigh,



. . . 2005







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