‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring; we still were half-sauced

From the egg nog and whiskey, the cases of beer

That Uncle Phil brought to spread holiday cheer.

The stockings, still hung by the chimney with care,

Are now raided and empty, and quite worse for wear;

Between Dave’s model cars and the dolls for the girls,

I’ve got roughly the messiest house in the world.

Betwixt paper for wrapping and bows for the loot,

The living room looks like a drunken galoot

Has rampaged and stomped and gone kickin’ and slappin’

Which is sorta the truth, ’cause that’s kinda what happened.

The culprits were two: It was Bobby and Sue!

Our cousins from Calais, and Caribou, too;

Nether would stop at the third or fourth drink,

So stay out of the bathroom ”“ it still really stinks.

The floor is a tangle of boxes and trash,

And sadly gone missing are both of our cats;

Attracted by gift bags, they dove in head first,

We really should find them lest they die of thirst.

The day was a blur, but there’s this much I know:

Never again will I hang mistletoe.

I had hung it in hopes of receiving a kiss,

But the only thing touching my lips was a fist;

Auntie Gertrude, you see, did not like her new hat,

And rather than give me a small, gentle slap,

She clocked me and shouted and called me bad words ”“

I’m a “dunce” and a “boob” and a “big, stinking turd.”

Forays into baking likewise were disaster;

The cookies burned quickly, the pies even faster.

The pudding was lumpy, the turkey disgusting ”“

I dined on mixed nuts ’till my gut was a-busting.

That likely explains why I’m feeling so sick;

Subsisting on snack food is quite a mean trick.

Combine that with booze and a cake shaped like Santa,

My diet today is a box of Mylanta.

Nobody seemed to be jazzed by my gifts;

Each one was a strikeout, a swing and a whiff.

Some new braces for Sally, and glasses for Luke ”“

They looked real bummed out, like they wanted to puke.

The problem, I think, was my shopping was lazy;

It all was online, so remembering’s hazy.

You fall in a trance, and you buy some real junk,

It’s easy to slip into kind of a funk.

The problem with looking for stuff on a laptop

Is endless distraction, which packs quite a wallop;

You’re purchasing crap, which is why you earn scorn ”“

That should warn you to never be blinded by porn.

“On eBay! On Newegg!

On Etsy and Bulktix!

On Bookswim, on Gamefly,

On Etoys and Netflix!

From the guts of my laptop

Plugged into the wall,

I’ve got my free shipping,

So to hell with the mall!”

That once was my mantra; it worked for a while,

But forever ago was the last time I smiled

At the Santas and snowmen in storefronts galore,

Which brighten our downtowns and add to the lore

Of a season for giving, and taking it in;

Of quaffing some egg nog (and maybe some gin)

At a neighborhood tavern, across from a store

Where Ma and Pa Whatsit have items galore

They made each by hand ”“ so take THAT, Amazon!

I fear that the holiday really has gone

Too glitzy, too glammy, too downright commercial;

We bank on convenience and shipping that’s free ’till

We load up on items that nobody likes;

The dollhouses, bird houses, doggies and bikes

Are replaced by dull presents ”“ enough is enough;

It isn’t the point, see. The point is our love.

It’s corny, I know, to convey such a thought;

It’s hackneyed and cliché and icky like snot.

It’s true, though, that family is what it’s about.

Not products that clean up the shower stall grout.

Remembering crazy events this past Christmas

Reminds me that they may be weird, but that I’m blessed

To have such an interesting clan I can call mine;

I may have blown presents, but there’ll always be time

To tell them I love them and show them respect

With a word or a gesture, or even a text;

The bathroom still smells like despair and stale beer,

But think of it this way: There’s always next year.

— Jeff Lagasse is a staff writer and columnist for the Journal Triibune. Merry post-Christmas, my peeps! He can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 319 or [email protected]