“Anyone can buy. It takes an artist to shop.”

— Jennifer Finney

Tis the day before Christmas and all through the town,

folks are frantic like madmen with presents unbound.

The UPS people are running, quick like brown foxes,

while consumers get testy awaiting their boxes.

Wrapping paper’s been flying amid bows and bright ribbon,

friends cherishing the spirit of which they’ve been bitten.

Grant Ave. is so busy and so is North Street,

it’s hard to be calm when you can’t go just ten feet.

No one wants on the list of those who’ve been mean,

but why can’t people just “Go,” when the light has turned green?

I want to get home where the party’s begun.

But, instead I’m alone in a car, that’s no fun.

I’m missing out on the spiked eggnog drink,

And toasting we’re done shopping, so foolish to think.

For just when you know your credit is maxed,

you remember you need gifts, for gramma and gramps.

Out you go into that wildest of hours,

where folks will buy anything, even poinsettia flowers.

You might go in for some new tchotchke trash;

either way you’ll be laying down, your last bit of cash.

Hoping to make it home just to relax,

but knowing kids will awaken you, as soon as sun cracks.

Oh the cherubs, the toddlers, those sweet little tikes,

will lose their small minds, at finding new bikes.

There are dolls that can cry real tears and some groan,

I’ve even heard some ... go poop on their own!

There’ll be video games, skateboards and perhaps a few games,

of course socks and then underwear, well, thanks all the same.

Then into the car, a travelling you’ll go.

To see in-laws and relatives whether it’s clear out or snow.

You’ll stand around living rooms and also card tables,

awaiting dishes served up, in large plastic ladles.

And when back at home you finally feel like you’re rooted,

you’re hit by the phrase, “batteries not included.”

Again back out you trudge as quick as can be,

and say next year will be different, maybe next year, we’ll see.

“From my family to yours I wish you all a very merry Christmas!”

Auburn native Bradley Molloy's column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com