’Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the house
Every creature was sleeping, including my spouse.
The presents were strewn by the chimney with glee,
Some cat had un-tinseled our once-mighty tree.
The children--twin sisters and one little brother--
Were finally done screaming and kicking each other,
And Mama and I were passed out after dinner
In candy-stripe nightshirts to make us look thinner.
When down from the den came a thud and a crash--
Away to the staircase I flew like The Flash!
I tiptoed downstairs and I tripped on old Rover;
“Some watchdog,” I muttered--he barely turned over!
I crept through the house with my smart-phone flashlight,
To see what had broken and what was alright.
The glow of the phone cast an unearthly hue,
Like a gh-gh-gh-ghost on an old “Scooby-Doo.”
I paused in the kitchen, I counted to ten,
Then rounded the corner and stepped in the den.
And there, by the tree, looking pleased with himself,
Was an overgrown, button-down, corporate elf.
He had a briefcase and a green velvet blazer,
And in his right hand was a code-scanning laser.
He was trim and well-tailored--not one ounce of fatness--
With a shiny gold name tag that simply said “Atnas.”
I spoke not a word, but slipped down to a crouch
And hid in the shadows behind the blue couch.
Then I watched as this “Atnas” picked up my new sweater.
He scanned it and “Zap!” It was one I liked better!
And then, right before my still-wondering eyes,
He zapped the girls’ boots the appropriate size!
He grabbed Junior’s unopened video game
And zapped it to one that’s a little less lame.
That “new” Harry Potter? They already read it.
He zapped it away to a place called “store credit.”
He sped through the room like a madman deranged
Making sure each new present was promptly exchanged.
Out snowglobe! Out perfume! Out scarf and out sash!
Now gift cards! Now gas cards! Now big stack of cash!
And then, to my rapture, he did the best thing!
He found this plush reindeer that just loves to sing--
It lights up and shrieks all through “O Holy Night,”--
And, wonder of wonders, it vanished from sight.
And “Atnas” left nothing to take its dear place--
Just silence and calm and a smile on my face.
Then seeing his work was officially through,
And scanning his face, up the chimney he flew.
But I heard him cry out the best greetings of all--
“Ho ho ho, I just saved you a trip to the mall!”