“Twas the day after Thanksgiving, the house held no peace
I regretted Black Friday spending, to the delight of my niece;
Cassie danced around the tree, decorating without a care;
While I rummaged through ornament boxes, trying not to swear;
“One of these years,” I promised her there, “I will write it all down.”
Finding my prize, I passed to her, where she set the star on the tree’s crown.
The tree all decorated, and the lights outside glowing;
We settled in to watch Charlie Brown as it started snowing.
When from down the hall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Cautiously down the hall, I wasn’t going to do anything rash,
I peered in my bedroom closet, where I hid my Christmas stash.
High on the shelf a box shuddered and rocked
My wondering eyes did stare, for I was quite shocked.
Down it jumped, losing its lid, a cap inside, a letter tucked in the band.
I sighed and remembered I had agreed to the elf’s demands.
“Happy Thanksgiving!” the letter began, “Your dinner was good?”
“Keep the turkey, but send me a slice of pie, if you would?”
I knew from the humor, it must be St. Nick.
I skimmed down a bit, hoping to cut to the quick.
“The season is upon us now; your parole is quite over.
You have a job to do, no time for eating leftovers.
With the cap on your head, Santa’s Helper you’ll be.”
I paused in my reading, sighing loudly, “Why me?”
“Because, Matt, for many years, you’ve been quite nice.
Now you can help the naughty avoid choosing vice.
You can start with someone, who has been very naughty,
Your vampire friend, is she always so haughty?”
“Oh, is that all?” I said with great sass.
I’d forgotten that Nick could be such an —
“Uncle Matt, are you okay?” said Cassie from the door.
“I’m fine, just something I can no longer ignore.
I’ll be out in a minute would you get us some cocoa?”
I went back to the letter, wishing I could veto.
“Unlike the Grinch, whose heart was too small;
He needed only to hear the song’s call.
Not so with the lady, for her heart went dark;
Centuries of anger and strife left their mark.
But in recent years, thanks to you, now a glow
Of the warm girl I remember begins to show.”
Caution! Warning! This is not a game to be played!”
The force of these words made me quite afraid.
“Beware the temptation to tally the score.
For deeds from the heart are never a chore.
For Nice to surpass Naughty is never the goal;
Only that the holiday spirit adds light to the soul.”
There’d be no weighing of souls, no trial;
She would just have to make someone smile
With the holiday joy that all delighted to feel.
The purpose of Christmas was simply to heal.
“Now put on the hat! ’Tis the season to be of good cheer!
For your bonus, I’ll see you before the New Year.”
Out on the porch, Cassie sipped cocoa as the snow fell.
I smiled and hugged her, saying, “All is well.
I’ve a new case, to make this Christmas season merry and bright!”
“Keep it down!” yelled my neighbor, “It’s the middle of the night!”