THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WINTER HOLIDAY
'Twas the night before Winter Holiday, and all through the public housing apartment,
Not an animal was stirring, not even a mus musculus, (recently making it to the index of endangered species).
The stockings were hung by the recently inspected chimney with care,
In hopes that Holiday icons soon would be there.
The 1.3 children were nestled all snug in their FDA-approved beds,
While visions of high-complex carbohydrate treats Danced in their heads.
With the significant other in her/his kerchief and I in my cap
We'd just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out on the protected species of wildflowers and native grasses there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see why nobody was wearing OSHA - approved ear protection and steel-toed boots.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and and threw up on the sash.
The moon on the breast (is this sexist??) of the new-fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature solar-powered sleigh and eight tiny simulated reindeer (no animals were injured in the making of this poem);
With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it had to be the Winter Holiday icon.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he/she whistled and shouted (without using any gender specific or racially inflammatory terms) and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen (wait! Is this gender specific?); On, Comet, on Cupid, on Donder and Blitzen!
"From the top of the porch to the top of the wall, now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle (not manmade, of course. Strictly occurring in nature) mount to the sky.
I drew in my head, and was turning around, when down the chimney the Winter Holiday icon came with a bound.
He/she was dressed all in fake fur, from his/her head to his/her foot, and his/her clothes were all covered with (Not for human consumption. Caution: Keep out of reach of children. Contains flame residue) ashes and soot.
The smile on his/her face and the tilt of his/her head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
His/her eyes, how they twinkled! His/her dimple, how merry!
His/her belly shook like a bowl full of sugar-free, fat-free, low calorie jelly.
The stump of a water pipe he/she held tight in his/her teeth (This is a smoke free building. Thank you for not smoking.) and the steam it encircled his/her head like a wreath.
He/she spoke not a word but went straight to his/her work, and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk (can we say this in public?)
And laying his/her finger alongside of his/her nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he/she rose.
He/she went to his/her sleigh, to the team gave a whistle, and away they all flew, like the down on a (protected species) thistle.
But I heard him/her exclaim ere he/she drove out of sight,
"Happy Holidays to all peoples, all ethnicities, all religions (except Christian), and all learning abilities, and to all a good night!"