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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 12.24.08
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Santa's bad night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and writers galore
Were everywhere riffing on Clement C. Moore.
My deadline was looming like night on the town
And desperate I was to write anything down.

I sat in my PJs (the ones with red piping)
And pondered a topic to kick-start my typing.
How about searching for trinkets and bonbons
And sweating to death as you shop in your long johns?

Or maybe the gift card, that hot plastic trend,
That says, "Not a thought to your gift did I lend?
Perhaps I could whine of the torment and strife
Of trying to find anything right for my wife.

When out on the lawn there arose such a racket
I darted outside (though I first grabbed my jacket).
Away from the keyboard I flew with a flash
And a quick silent prayer that my Windows not crash.

The snow that had fallen from noon until now
Was piled on my Oldsmobile, thanks to the plow.
When, what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But Santa Claus casually swilling a beer.

His eyes they were rheumy, his nose red and veiny,
He staggered a bit and he swore like Dick Cheney.
I crept down the steps, taking care not to stumble,
And inched my way forward to hear Santa mumble:

"Blame Harper, blame bailouts, blame Dubya and Palin,
Blame climate, blame iPods, blame stock markets failin'
From the increase in rudeness, to the lack of good cheer,
Now dash-it and darn-it, I've had it to here."

Like peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan
I quickly moved in without any real plan.
I only felt sympathy, yes, 'cause I knew
That what bothered me bugged St. Nicholas too.

He spoke not a word when he first saw me lurk.
(Though I sensed that he thought to himself, "What a jerk.")
And laying a finger aside of his ear,
And turning his head, he was ready to hear.

"Don't worry," I told him, "Yes, things may looks bleak
With financial worries that mess up our sleep,
And pressures to purchase things nobody needs
Like Chinese fondue pots and macramé beads,

"But come Christmas morning, they won't weigh an ounce
Compared to the weight of what actually counts,
Like being together and feeling the joys
Of hope and of peace and of laughing and noise.

"So brighten up, Santa, (and sober up too)
'Cause Christmas is bigger than me and than you.
I don't care if you're Christian or Muslim or Jewish
Just cherish small pleasures, though they may be fewish."

He sprang to his feet and he started to chuckle
He ran to his sleigh and his belt he did buckle
And I heard him exclaim with a bit of a cough,
"Happy Christmas to all; I'll be sleeping it off."

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