Our Story Begins:
The Week Before Christmas


Christmas is craziness no matter what time of year. Still, doing it with one less adult to help pick out presents, wrap, keep order, clean, cook . . . you get the picture.

Having lived this now for four years, in a Christmas theme, I give you a thematic rundown of just what it’s like in the Manoucheri house this time of year . . .

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house
The wind blew away our lights…and we lost Sam’s Door Mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
I hoped they didn’t notice their Mom’s wasn’t there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
I sent them up early for being knuckleheads.
They were asking for more and more presents this year
Saying “Santa will bring them if the cost makes you fear!”
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Because teens moved our decorations in an obscene manner.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Four kids in a Mercedes drove off in a dash.
The moon looking full stared at us below…
The man in the moon was to blame, I just know!
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a kid saying “it was his stomach hit my fist, I fear!”
My brain was reeling I had to punish her quick
“I think I’ll grab my phone and give a call to St. Nick!”

More rapid than eagles these children all came,
And begged me “don’t call…you must be insane!”
“Santa has a cell phone, his number’s right here!
Their sister saw my friend call him on it one year!”
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Clean this damn place or I’m making the call!

Related: Our Story Begins: The Dichotomy of the Single Parent

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
The children all scattered to avoid my eye;
So up to the landing my children they flew
Hoping I hadn’t noticed the mess in the loo.
Then in a twinkling my blood pressure rose.
The dishwasher they had forgotten to close!
I knew ’cause I hit it, you see,
Causing bad words not unused in polite company.

Still in dress clothes from head to foot,
I noticed they were covered in mud and soot.
Dozens of toys and presents under the tree
I wondered if I should away one, two or three!
My eyes then they twinkled and I started to feel merry.
“Follow through on your chores or some presents I’ll bury!”

Tiny little mouths turned down with a frown.
They needed a way to turn my mood around.
Brooms in hand and sponges and cleaners
They even picked up the old hot water steamer!
I spotted on child in the bathroom with sponges
“Who made this big mess,” he shouted in wonder?!
I started to feel like a jolly old elf
And I laughed when I saw them, in spite of myself;
I suddenly felt a great Christmas cheer
They were working for me not the presents this year.

They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
Then one found their Mom’s stocking and stopped with a jerk.
“Should we hang this up,” he started to ask,
But then said, “no,” and went back to his task.
I hid in my room and took boxes from shelves
And wrapped them and laid under the tree myself.
My son stopped and asked what made me change my mind…

And I said “it was you, son . . . it’s Christmas time!”

How about you? Do the holidays stress you out? Does your significant other help you or do you do it alone?