The night before a COVID Christmas

Jim Zitzelsberger
This poem penned by retired teacher and crop farmer Jim Zitzelsberger is a candid bedtime conversation on the night before Christmas in 2020.

My little one asked sincerely last night

If Santa would be coming this year

Because everybody has to stay at home—

And what about masks for deer?

I said, there was no need to worry,

That Santa would make it all right

Even if he came a day or two

Following Christmas night.

You see, I added, he has lots to do,

But, in the end, won’t forget about you

Because you’ve asked and understood

About so much in our worldhood:

Things like Santa’s elves working hard

To make medicine for the sick,

And how Santa’s flying it everywhere

At “Warp Speed,” clean and quick.

There are so many others, you see,

Who needs are greater than for you and me:

People without a house or a grocery store,

Or even the masks like the ones you’ve wore.

Just think of the ladies down at the bank,

And the gas-station folks with fuel for our tank,

And the policemen and firemen always on call,

And your teachers online from the school hall;

And they’re all hoping Santa shows up too

After delivering vaccine for the flu,

Because he has so much left to do

That we can’t imagine how he’ll ever get through!

Then I shut my mouth, thinking I’d said to much,

About things I don’t know and such ‘n’ such,

But what I heard next, brought a hand to my eye

And joy to my heart in one little reply:

‘OK,’ came first, ‘I guess I can wait,

And maybe ask Santa, if it isn’t too late,

To give some of my things to those who have none

If somewhere in the world it might help anyone.’

And with a kiss, I pulled the covers up tight,

Stepped to the door and turned off the light,

Saying, I love you, just loud enough to be heard—

And Santa loves you too, as my last word.

Jim Zitzelsberger

© 2020 James N. (Jim) Zitzelsberger is a retired teacher who farms 200 acres of sorghum and soybeans near Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  He has been writing Christmas poems for nearly forty years and is the author of Clancy's Christmas Stampede and Other Christmas Story-Poems along with two other books focused on the Vietnam War.