The parties are ending
The carols are sung
The reindeer are wending
The stockings are hung
The evening is waning
The cider is hot
Somewhere they’re complaining
In our house we’re not
It’s Christmas concert time! Oh, joy!
A time when every girl and boy
Shangaied into a junior choir
Raises voice on high–no, higher–
In a shrill cacophony
Of avarice for you and me:
You’d best not cry or pout, they’ll shriek
(About 400 times a week)
‘Cause Santa’s watching, and he’s pissed!
(I paraphrase, but that’s the gist.)
Their choir teachers don’t have time
To coax a melody sublime
From tense preadolescent throats,
But even if they bleat like goats
Or stand and blink instead of singing,
Parents hear the welkin ringing
With the “notes” their children bellow,
Each one louder than the fellow
Next to them, in their own key,
And know, no sound could sweeter be.
Do a thing one time, or two,
It’s something that you sometimes do
(Or did) and may not do again.
It’s lifted to tradition when
The doing’s done to consecrate
An action, milestone or date
And, henceforth, if the thing’s not done
The celebration’s much less fun
And one can’t help but heave a sigh
Of disappointment, which is why,
Like last year and the ten before, we
Plop and watch A Christmas Story,
Sated on take-out Chinese.
Pass your fake teeth forward, please.
Traditionally, the first Thursday in June
Is for eating your meals with your hands or a spoon
But no forks and, for heaven’s sake, never a knife
Except if you’re actively courting a wife
(Or a left-handed husband), in which case you’d better
Remember to send her (or him) an old sweater
With ketchup (or catsup for him) on the chest.
They’ll know you’re in love by the stain on her breast!
The Christmas lights are up because
That’s just what our tradition was
When Groundhog Day was our big fête;
We’d leave the lights up till the date
Had come, along with all our friends,
To toast the day that never ends
By screening back-to-back-to-back
Bill Murray’s déjà vu attack,
But now the kids are grown and gone
It’s hard to put the party on,
And bingeing by ourselves seems crazy.
Why the lights, then? ‘Cause I’m lazy.
A castle may a man’s home be
But keeping same is not for me.
Let’s just say my sense of tidy
Is the opposite of mighty.
Call me gross or call me crazy,
I’m still less of both than lazy.
Every time I shuck my shoes
Another dirty sock I lose.
Last December–this is true–
I found some on the mantel! Eww!
You chore poorly? I’m the poorest.
Even so, a growing forest
In my dining room’s a shock
Surpassing even mantel-sock.
A better man, I’m sure, would try
To clear it out. I’m not that guy.
Admittedly, it’s quite a sight,
But looked at in a certain light,
Or–lightbulb!–lots of lights? Oh, wow!
That’s awesome! Now, about that cow….
Learning stuff is hard enough;
Recalling how you learned is tough.
By learning something, though, you earn
The right to fight how others learn.
If it worked for you, that’s great!
And if it didn’t, and you hate
The subject to this very day
They still should teach the thing that way.
If it worked out for you (or not)
Then that’s the way it should be taught
Forever. After all, your kid
Will likely ask you how they did,
And when you’re busy homework-checking
There’s no time for what-the-hecking.
As the grown-up, you should know
Exactly how they’re s’posed to show
Their work, and if you don’t, it’s ’cause
They’ve changed the way it always was!
Education shouldn’t change.
Today’s technique should not be strange.
The way you learned will always do.
Just wipe your slate clean when you’re through.