The Plight After Christmas (with apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

by Michael Kline


’Twas the plight after Christmas and all through the mall

Were the sounds of returning; “This thing is too small!”

“It fits like a stove pipe. It squeezes my head.

The buttons too small and the colors too red!”


Vouchers and gift cards appeared everywhere,

Uneasiness hung like a fog in the air.

The shoppers would not be denied their reward

Their lack of receipts stores would dare not ignore.


The socks that were hung on display with great care

Were littered about as though tossed through the air.

The store clerks stood fast. “There’s a spot on this cuff!”

While registers blossomed with unwanted stuff.


And out on the streets there arose a great noise

(Like the sound a dog makes when you hide all its toys).

‘Twas garbage trucks rumbling and crunching great rows

Of decorative wrapping and now useless bows.


In all of the homes things were not a lot better…

The flocking was falling from Aunt Margie’s sweater,

The batt’ries were spent and the blades were now toast

Of the toy drone that Johnny had wanted the most.


The season was nigh and in fits of despair,

The lawn decorations had lost all their air.

And fathers lamented the large looming chore

Of light disassemblage and now where to store.


I then had to ask “What is happening here?

Do you not love your gifts? Do you not hold them dear?

And standing in line at the Black Friday queue,

Were you buying for someone or buying for you?”


That one thing is missing (forgotten, I’m betting):

The season’s for giving and not just for getting.

Perhaps a refresher. Perhaps a reform

Of just what it means to feel fuzzy and warm?


The things one can give are ubiquitous too.

Advice, your best shot, and a darn are a few.

Give credit. Give credence. Give someone a chance.

Give someone a ring and say “Wanna go dance?”


Give someone some skin or the shirt off your back.

Or something away! Yes, you’re on the right track.

Give someone a chance and give something a rest.

A lift can be given—when needed is best.


No, giving is not something found on the web.

It’s found in your heart and it’s found in your head.

Give someone a hug and I’m sure you will see

That if it’s returned it’s returned joyfully.


And while we are at it, let’s look at the year.

We’ll see something special and see something clear…

The days we can give, we can’t simply ignore.

They number three hundred and sixty four more.


So give of yourself and then give of your time

It won’t break the bank. No, it won’t cost a dime.

And you’ll feel the spirit of Christmas at last,

A feeling that hopefully never will pass.


Teach. Learn. Enjoy!

Michael Kline

Michael Kline is the oldest youngster you will ever meet. An artistic contributor to Kids Discover for 20+ years, he is also the illustrator of The Doodles of Sam Dibble (Penguin Young Readers), a raucous account of a consummate third-grade doodler. Michael lives in Wichita, KS with his very understanding wife and feline office managers. He can be found at