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It’s that time of year where things get a little sideways. We try to cram 18-hour days into eight hours of daylight and wonder why we can’t get it all done. I marvel at the people who leisurely shop for presents for next Christmas beginning with the after-Christmas sales and can actually find them again and have them all wrapped and under their decorated tree the day after Thanksgiving. Such organization just eludes me—but a lot eludes me, including cooking and cleaning.
My claim to fame in the kitchen is that if it doesn’t come out of a box or a can, we don’t eat it. Thankfully, Averett’s palate is fairly primitive. I’ve since discovered it’s now called a “paleolithic diet”—or better yet, a caveman’s diet. Well that more suits our lifestyle. As for the cleaning, I’d like to blame it on some traumatic event in my childhood. When someone asks me why my house is always in a state of utter disbelief, I could nervously look around and whisper, “I had a bad experience with that when I was a child.” It would be a lie because my Mom was one of those people who had a place for everything and everything in its place sort of homes. Instead, I’m sitting here thinking about spray painting the cobwebs and calling it Christmas.
I do have a tree decorated with love by my grandbrats. The ornaments are all hung below the three foot line and that’s OK with me. There have been years when we didn’t have a tree up before Christmas. That was in the early years before our kids knew the difference between December 24 and December 26 and before I realized how my day job would totally consume the holidays.
So in honor of my 26th Christmas helping Santa, and because my day job still consumes our holidays, (we wouldn’t know how to function any other way!) I have to share some package fun:
At the far end of town out past the water tower a ways
Sits a warehouse that’s home to a whole fleet of sleighs.
Since 1907 Santa and his elves
Outsourced package delivery to save themselves.
For Santa, in his wisdom, could foresee
The volume of packages would increase a billion times three.
These faithful folk work all over town;
So not to be confused with Santa, they’re all dressed in brown.
Whether delivering in the rain, snow or hot,
A less hearty crew just could not.
I have it on good authority, you see
For one of those elves just happens to be me.
The sleighs have been running late into the night
To help all those people have a Christmas that’s bright.
But it takes an army invisible to the eye
To get all those packages into the night sky.
There’s loaders and sorters and unloaders, too
And clerks and dispatchers and mechanics who
Get no glory of their own
And cannot be replaced by an Amazon drone.
The days are long, the daylight slim
Delivering those packages bought on a whim.
These elves for the most part are jolly and happy
But I know a few who dream of fishing for crappie
Or hunting turkey, deer or other wild game;
But compared to this job those endeavors are lame.
As Christmas gets closer with each passing day
We question our dedication to that blasted sleigh.
We’ve delivered trees and wreaths and diamond rings
Bikes, and books and all kinds of things.
We’ve handled packages too large to fit a scale
while dodging the dog with the wagging tale.
What drives us to push for that elusive brass ring?
Why risk termination for the least scratch or ding?
I pondered those questions, til I could ponder no more
Then I watched my coworkers file through the door.
They were laughing and joking and sharing their tales
Each shared encounter putting wind in their sails.
There’s a sense of accomplishment and a sense of purpose
Even though some days it feels like a circus.
Our job is to help Santa and every Mom & Pop
And we will do our best to the very last stop.
Merry Christmas, my friends, Happy New Year, too
You’re the reason we do what we do!