‘Twas the night before 2020 Christmas and all through the halls,

Frustration, wrapping paper, Scotch tape rolled in balls.

The stockings were hung, the cookies were gone. 

Mom sighed with weariness as Dad looked on.

Mom rubbed her eyes because she was tired

The kids had eaten lots of sweets, they were wired.

The toddler had pulled out the skirt from under the tree that day,

And the baby had thrown all of Jesus’ hay. 

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She got too caught up in the work of the season,

That she often forgot, of Yuletide’s true reason.

Mom was overworked, as moms are at this time of year

Too many carols, cookies, and decorations, I fear.

Every year, this would happen, and it was her own fault,

Amid the cookies, eggnog, and chocolate malt.

And this year it was sad, it was worse.

Even though there was no pageant to rehearse.

Families weren’t together, traveling was shot.

Mom wanted to scream, “I’d just rather not!”

Was that sniffle, a cold, or perhaps something more grim?

She nervously adjusted a red piece of trim.

She felt she had to make up for some reason,

All the things that her kids would be missing this season.

Things just had to be perfect, they had to be right,

Before she would lay down her head that night.

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But finally, relief came from her spouse,

As he looked around at the tree, at the house.

“You know, if you did none of this, you would be fine.

Even if Amazon didn’t come on time.

Christmas isn’t about gifts, even though they’re nice.

It’s not about the tree, the snow, or the ice.

It’s not a competition, to see which house is the nicest,

Or even which tree, which colors are brightest.

The true reason for Christmas, came long, long ago,

When a baby was born in a stable, humble and low.

Chin up my girl, there’s still reason to hope.

Try to be happy and try not to mope.

Why this year we will see a sign in the sky,

Perhaps the same one that the Magi walked by.

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I know lots of things that are hard have happened this year,

And some of them are almost too much to bear.

But we have to wait, to have love, to stand firm,

And eventually, we will come to term.

With those things that are hard and that make us want to shout,

With those things that make our little ones pout.

But remember this too, my beloved one, 

God endured too, the death of His Son.

And Christ was born in a stable, the cold.

How much harder is that than the plans put on hold?”

When Dad stopped talking, Mom sat very still,

She taped one last piece of paper and adjusted a frill.

Things didn’t need to be perfect, Mom had forgotten Christmas’ meaning.

As she sat by the tree, its lights softly gleaming,

She realized Dad was right, she had got too caught up in her head.

Mom breathed a quick prayer of thanks, and then went to bed.

Amy Gray

Amy Gray is a 20-something heart mom, living somewhere on the east coast. When she is not trying to stop the toddler from leaping off the couch, or her other children from mooching her snacks, she enjoys coffee, sci-fi tv shows, and sending hilarious messages on the family chat at mostly appropriate times.