‘Twas The Retail Night Before Christmas

22 Dec

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(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the store,
All the creatures were stirring, searching for one present more.
The staff stockings were hung in the breakroom with care,
Stuffed with candy & such sugar-rush-inducing fare;
The staff were nestled in their nice collared shirts,
Dreaming of being home with family, eating desserts;
And the manager in his name tag, and I in my shoes,
Were bemoaning our luck & singing the “working Christmas Eve” blues.

When up at the front there arose such a clatter,
We all sprang from the cashwrap to see what was the matter.
Away to the display case we flew like a flash,
Armed with the alarm code: alphanumeric, with a dash.
The florescent on the breast of the new-broken glass,
Gave a lustre of lawsuits to all who would pass,
And what to our wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature boy, his face frozen in fear.

With the locking mechanism still clutched in his hand,
We knew in a moment that this boy had been left unmanned.
More rapid than eagles we shifted the blame,
And demanded and pleaded to find out his name:
“Are you Henry or Alex or Joseph or Chris?
Maxwell or Allen or Ezra or Fritz?”
Try as we might, the boy gave us no reply,
He just held his breath, still ready to cry;
So out to the main mall a junior staff member flew,
To find the boy’s parents before he turned blue.
And then, in a twinkling, we heard our coworker shout,
“Hey you in the suit, can you come help us out?”

My manager’s face showed relief, the boy’s father had been found,
When in between the anti-theft barriers, St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his feet,
And he looked bone tired, from hours on the hot seat.
A new video game system was clutched in his hand and he thus
Looked a bit shamed he hadn’t bought it from us.
His eyes caught sight of the still petrified kid,
And he signaled to us with a wink of his eyelid.

He knelt on the floor, right amidst all the rubble,
And he said in a kind voice, “what seems to be the trouble?”
The boy started to sob, it was really quite sad,
And he cried aloud, “Santa, I’ve really been bad.”
St. Nick’s face softened, his eyes held a bright spark,
And he said to the boy, “that’s true, my dear Mark.
You’ve been naughty indeed, and for most of the year,
But I’ll tell you this now, you have nothing to fear.’
With a wink of his eye and an offer of his hand,
Santa made it clear to the boy that he had this all planned;
He spoke no more words, but they went straight to their work,
And tidied the display better than any sales clerk.

And then laying his finger aside of his face,
Santa smiled at us all and departed the place.
It was only afterwards that a customer inquired,
“Didn’t the mall say no Santa had been hired?”
They were right- the mall employed neither Santa nor elf,
Was is possible we’d just encountered the real legend himself?
As we looked at each other with mixed wonder and appall,
We heard a jolly, “Happy Christmas to all, especially those at the mall!””

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