by Mariane Holbrook 

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the land
The Sunday School programs were going on as planned.
With candles in windows, a brightly-lit tree,
A scene so exciting the kids squealed with glee.

The girls wore red dresses with bows in their hair.
The boys tried to act as if they didn’t care.
Grandmas wore pins made like jade Christmas trees.
The dads all took pictures; “Okay, kids, say ‘cheese’.”

Each one of the children was given a part.
They memorized lines ‘til they knew them by heart.
But Sally forgot hers and wished she were dead.
She pulled up her skirt and then covered her head.

Then sweet, pregnant Mary appeared in distress.
She’d carried a soccer ball inside her dress.
When somebody pushed her, the ball dropped from view,
And little Lord Jesus rolled under a pew.

And at the piano, so rigid and tight,
Jon played his own version of “Silent Night.”
His tummy was nervous, tied up in a bunch,
And when it was over, he lost his whole lunch.

And two-year-old Jimmy, so young for his age,
Wandered around. (‘Twas his first time on stage.)
A bright copper urn he mistook for a pot
And what he did next; well, I thnk I forgot.

The Sunday School choir all wore robes of pure white,
With big bows of red; what an angelic sight.
No choir on earth had a sound quite so dear
As moms surreptitiously dabbed at a tear.

The pastor was given a big Christmas check.
His wife usually got only hugs ‘round her neck.
The deacons had bought so much candy and fruit
We needed a truck just to lug home our loot.

And when it was over, our teachers we’d hear:
“Thank God this is held only one time each year.
Perhaps if we rest, read our Bibles and pray,
We’ll halfway recover before Christmas Day.”


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