Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 12.23.10
Stanstead, Quebec


Xmas Poem

'Tis three nights before Christmas,
I should be out shopping,
Not watching the tree,
counting pine needles dropping.

The stockings are ready
for Christmas morn's filling.
The children all know
they'll be making a killing.

The gifts are all nestled
safe under the tree --
except for my wife's,
still not purchased by me.

For I am a moron
and she is a saint,
who's quite a good planner.
But me -- well, I ain't.

When Christmas is nearing,
she's quick to attack
all the wish lists and queries;
she doesn't hold back.

Away to the outlets
she flies like a flash
and pays with her Visa,
though preferably cash.

The goons that stores hire to make shopping easy
are underpaid, surly and listless and sleazy.
You're looking and wondering which laptop to buy,
they're dodging and snarling, "Who's serving? Not I."
With little old ladies so lively and quick
they'll be so darned rude it will make your heart sick.

Yet quick like an eagle my wife makes her choice
and tallies and figures and says in full voice,
"Two iPods! One Barbie! Four undies and mittens!
On debit, on Visa, this toy cost a pittance!
From the top of the wish list, to the back of the mall!
I've bought and I've bought and I've bought for them all!"

As I sit and I think what my wife had to buy
when my only small obstacle
was, well -- in short -- I,
so clueless and hapless to know what to do --
buy some gifts for my wife.
But what? Wish I knew...

And then, in a brainstorm
I knew I'd buy time.
I pranced and I danced.
I'd go shopping online!

As I fired up Windows
and thought "Think like Mom,"
I signed in and logged into

I was offered used furs and an elephant's foot
and some chimney-sweep garb stained with authentic soot,
and bundles of baseball cards, five to a pack
that -- transaction final -- cannot be sent back.

My eyes how they twinkled! My mood grew so merry!
Just thinking of gifts to my wife I would carry.
How droll to be making these last-minute scores,
Without stepping foot in those nightmarish stores.

The mouse in my hand I held tight as I clicked,
while I scrolled through the items like Cyber-St-Nick.
I purchased white socks and some rum-flavoured jelly,
James Bond DVDs and a wee British telly.

I was surfing and thrilled,
feeling just like an elf,
when I realized that -- what!
- I had shopped for myself!

A rub of my eye
and a shake of my head
soon gave me to know
that I might be -- quote -- "dead."

I spoke not a word
but left off cyber-work
and knew in my heart,
"Holy cow, what a jerk!"

And laying my finger on
the shutting-down button
and hanging my head
muttered low, "I got nothin'!"

I sprang to the phone,
to The Record I'm pleading,
and quickly dictated this
poem that you're reading.

And so, here's a verse
for my wonderful wife:
At shopping I stink.
How 'bout I just write?

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through He can be reached at