Copresco President Steve Johnson

The Week Before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, it happens each year,
Regrettably though, I was not quite in gear.
Neighbors’ houses were gaily festooned
Mine by comparison looked downright marooned.
Few gifts had been purchased, the stockings just sagged
My Holiday spirit decidedly lagged.

Outside I detected a noise on the lawn
I moved not an inch, just stifled a yawn.
In through the door walked the ghost of Bob Cratchit
I’d closed the darn door, just forgotten to latch it.

His cheeks had a pallor His eyes had no soul;
Into my hands he thrust lumps of black coal
“I’m sorry Melissa*, but you get the gist—
You’ve been a slacker, now Santa is pissed.”

“Take it back,” I cried “ you silly old teaser!’
“I can’t,” he whined back,” I work for that Geezer”
“But the parties,” I squeaked, “ the feasts and the grog…”
“Maybe,” he mused, ”you can eat with the dog.”
“See, Santa’s wont take no pretenders this year—
You can’t have the Christmas If you ain’t got the cheer.”

“I’ll change,” I promised,” I’ll sing, shop and bake…
…do unto others and eat the fruitcake.”
Cratchitt looked leery; the reindeer just sneered
Getting out of this jam was worse than I’d feared.

“You’ve got 24 hours to get Christmas right,
or risk getting kennelled with Fido all night”
You must BE Christmas to kith and to kin,
Give it your all, and don’t phone it in.

So I started out baking, fuelled by strong coffee
Made mountains of rumballs and piles of good toffee.
Next I began buying some gifts
To mend a few fences, patch up a few rifts.
I bought them for kids and for siblings and cousins
For aunties and uncles and friends by the dozens.
I gifted the teachers, the people at work,
The dentist, the taxman, the neighborhood jerk.

By then I had picked up lots of momentum.
If gifts weren’t in stores, I’d darn well invent ‘em.
On a roll now and spurred by endorphins,
I started up food drives, made mittens for orphans.
I sang carols loudly ‘cause I’d learned all the verses.
I drew a few stares, some whispers and curses.

I did acts of kindness for people in need
With grace and compassion, remarkable speed.
“There’s one thing more,” I said to old Cratchit,
“Let’s head to the forest; I’ll borrow your hatchet.”
I found the best tree and brought it back here.
The fake one was gone for Christmas was near.
So when I sat down for a Christmas nibble
I’d earned the roast beef, instead of the kibble.
Cratchit heard me exclaim as he rode off in his sled,
“Merry Christmas old goat— I’m goin’ to bed!”

*Thanks to Melissa Zernick up in Cheeseville for writing this poem.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson, President

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