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'Twas the Night Before Christmas, 2020 Edition

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all in our places

Seven naughty elves slumped, cov’ring half of their faces.

Separated from friends, and apart from each other,

We desperately longed to be with one another.

No music to make, and no fun to be had,

Our searchings were fruitless for some tidings glad.

The lack of connection was causing us gloom

So together we met in the great halls of Zoom.


But once all assembled, to each one’s dismay

We couldn’t find anything happy to say.

It wasn’t the same, and these elves all took issue.

“I’m tired!” “I’m lonely!” “I need bathroom tissue!”

Critical, crabby, complaining with cant,

All topped off with one epic Philly-girl rant.

We threatened to do thus, from sundown to dawn

While Barry would boomer, “Hey, is this thing on?”


When out of the gall’ry arose such a roar,

That we noticed a dark frame we’d not seen before?

We spotted a hidden non-video participant,

And our mood turned from surly to downright maleficent.

“Who dares to be crashing our pity party?

This breach is outrageous! Call security!”

We demanded divulgence from the bold intruder.

“Reveal yourself, hacker! Or we shall get ruder!”


When who should appear, with an audible click,

But a jolly and socially-distanced St. Nick!

His stunning entrée filled us with shock and awe,

And we shuddered to realize our Christmas faux-pas.

He filled the whole border with smile broad and merry.

His mirth was contagious, his bearing, so very!

And we elves felt humbled to be in the presence

Of one so determined to live life with pleasance.


“My friends!” he intoned, “you must not have the fear,

Of having a wasted and squanderéd year.

Just think of the things you have been come-to-knowing!

This while, you’ve been learning, expanding, and growing!

I’ve brought you all presents, but don’t get me wrong.

They’re not in my sleigh; they’ve been here along!

It’s time to unwrap them so you can uncover

The blessings that this year has let us discover.”


We puzzled and puzzled, till our puzzlers were sore

To try to unearth what this epoch was for.

How could we discern with new eyes 2020,

From feelings of scarcity to those of plenty?

When slowly but surely, then out of the blue,

We knew in a moment how his words rang true.

And attitudes changed as we started unpackin’

Exactly how this year showed us what was lackin’!


To connect with lost friends, it occurred to Michele,

Virtual Happy Hours would serve her quite well.

By schoolin’ her young’un, Kristin now could see

Once elusive rules of 6th grade Geometry!

Alec’s car had been causing him no end of woe,

So he bought a new beaut! *still with nowhere to go.

Dawn’s heart swelled with thanks, though it made her seem wussy that

She’d had so much more time to play with her pussycat.

Hilary found spaces the praises to sing

Of Life, and The Universe, and Everything.

And Gregg had a thrill, though he viewed it askance,

Due to working remotely. A year without pants!

But the topper was Barry, who’d gotten great joy

When he welcomed as Grandpa a wee baby boy!

With a nature so sweet and a face so delicious,

This child shows a future that’s bright and auspicious.


We gobbled with glee the delights that we’d plated,

And Santa’s desire for cheer had been sated.

He packed up his pack, and he said, “Gotta go!

Many Zoom rooms to crash in this year of Two-Oh!”

We waved him off gaily with nods of repentance,

While he hit “leave meeting” with Kristin mid-sentence.

But we heard him exclaim, as best we were able,

“Merry Christmas to all! My connection’s unstable!”


When we came to understand all that’s been gifted,

Our hearts were restored and our spirits were lifted.

These times have been hard, and our losses been many,

So when looking for joy, it is hard to find any.

This behooves us to seek it more closely than ever,

In places we’ve heretofore missed altogether.

And maybe that seeking is just what we need,

To show us our real blessings, our souls to feed.


And one final mention, to not be remiss,

With hearts full of thanks and a virtual kiss,

We recognize those who have now come to light

As formidable heroes that this year shone bright.

From nurses to teachers to essential workers,

(And various Christmastime Zoom meeting lurkers!)

We offer you wishes for all to be well,

With a gratitude deep, and a heartfelt Noel!


Now, as for that issue of feeling forlorn

From missing community, chosen or born,

Elves can gather with friends who are no longer oft-there

With magical video-editing software!

And while we are waiting in-person to meet,

Let’s lift hearts and voices, each other to greet:

May your Yuletide be festive, your Holidays fun

And we’ll see you ‘bout midway through Year ’21!



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