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THE REAL NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS A spoof of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (A Visit From St. Nicholas) Henry Livingston - 1808 'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse. Instructions were studied and we were inspired, in hopes we could manage "Some Assembly Required." The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds, while Dad and I faced the evening with dread: a kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's townhouse to boot And now, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot! We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat let no parts be missing or parts incomplete! Too late for last-minute returns or replacement; if we can't get it right, it goes straight to the basement! When what to my worrying eyes should appear but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear, With each part numbered and every slot named, so if we failed, only we could be blamed. More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out, all over the carpet they were scattered about. "Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there! Slide on the seats, and staple the stair! Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand." "Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand." And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact to keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night with "assembly required" till morning's first light. We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work, till our eyes, they went blurry; our fingers all hurt. The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin before we attached the last rod and last pin. Then laying the tools away in the chest, we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest. But I said to my husband just before I passed out, "This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt. Tomorrow we'll cheer, let the holiday ring, and not run to the store for one single thing! We did it! We did it! The toys are all set for the perfect, most magical, Christmas, I bet!" Then off to dreamland and sweet repose I gratefully went, though I suppose there's something to say for those self-deluded I'd forgotten that BATTERIES are never included! (Transcribed by Peter Akers - December 2013)

    


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