’Twas a few days before Christmas and across the land
Countless people found that things hadn’t gone as they had planned.
Shopping was not done as in the original scheme,
And having everything wrapped by Dec. 23 was a pipe dream
I am one such person, I do it every year
It takes the last minute sound of jingle bells to get me in gear.
Traffic is sometimes like eating soup with a fork.
I enjoy the chaos — just a reminder, I’m from New York.
On the radio blasts the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
As I strategically maneuver through the parking lot at Meijer.
Just like usual, I’m singing along with things like “Away in a Manger”
While I know this cramped parking lot situation heightens the danger.
The last minute shoppers aren’t there to buy a TV or a bike
They are there picking up anything; not necessarily anything they like.
A back scratcher, some candles and OSU attire
Being yanked off shelves by people who must have thought there was going to be a fire
I will rush through the store, eager to reach my real destination.
Before it’s off to home to concentrate on the real preparation.
The fantasy football finale looms over my head
Adding the type of pressure I enjoy, but dread.
Come on Zeke and JuJu, please play at your best
Let’s go Diggs and Shady, then cheer on the rest.
One last stop at the Mall for some final assistance.
I just hope my request wouldn’t be met with resistance.
As I approached the line (which was a mile long),
I wondered to myself if this could be wrong.
Loud music and chatter were hindering my concentration,
But I knew I had to stay for the vital information.
Breaking into view was the man all dressed in red,
Which made me start thinking, ‘should I use Alex Smith at QB instead.’
When he saw me, he instantly recognized my strife.
Because, he too, had that same stress in his life.
We conversed about Brees and Brady and Dak,
And we both wondered aloud when Antonio Brown would be back.
The line was backing up, and people were getting gruff.
Little did they know, we were discussing the most important of stuff.
‘It’s not quite Christmas,’ he said, ‘but I‘ll give you a gift early.’
And out of his sled he pulled Rams running back Todd Gurley.
He noticed some sadness as I saw what I got,
But I said sheepishly, ‘Thank you, but I’m set at that spot.’
We talked about the old days — like Montana and Rice.
Then Santa realized, he wanted to give me something really nice.
As I turned to leave, he told me he had just one thing more.
It was the kind of great gift that couldn’t be bought in a store.
‘For a sure fire victory, use this gift,’
Said Santa, trying to give my team — and spirits — a lift.
All year long my team has had its ups and downs
So he gifted me the Bears defense — they are playing the Browns!
I cheered with joy — my year had been made.
Just like when I received a bike back at Christmastime in third grade.
So I believe in Santa — he’s number one in my eyes.
Jeff Gates has been a freelance writer for The Madison Press since 1996.