A Visit from St. Nicholas, 1988
A Visit from St. Nicholas, 1988

A Visit from St. Nicholas, 1988

This ran in the Tucson Citizen Saturday, Dec. 24, 1988:


Editor’s note: It’s Christmas Eve and John Jennings, that jolly old columnist with the rosy cheeks and the rotund girth, is busy delivering a Christmas present to the Citizen’s readers. With profound apologies to Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” Jennings offers us an updated version.

‘Tis the night before Christmas

and the house is all quiet

as I read all the details

of Oprah’s new diet.

My wife, who has whirlpooled,

Lies beside me in sleep,

Her Retin-A glow

Is much more than skin deep.

Our new antique quilt

lies there at our feet

As we stretch out in comfort

On mauve satin sheets.

Down the hall are the suites

Of young Geoffrey and Wendy,

Whose closets fair bulge

With things tasteful and trendy.

The townhouse is brightly

Lit for the season.

Our gardener’s efforts

Are creative and pleasin’.

A 20-foot spruce

In the living room climbs

(that cathedral ceiling

Comes in handy at times).

Southwestern ornaments

On the limbs are displayed

The newest design

From Old Santa Fe.

In the hopes that St. Nicholas

Soon might appear,

We left blue corn chips, salsa

And Australian beer.

Brightly wrapped presents

Are piled in profusion

Color-coordinated, too,

So there’ll be no confusion.

For Wendy, 15, we’ve bought

Things that’ll suit her:

A nifty hair crimper

And a hard-disk computer.

A few dozen examples

Of designer clothes,

And a surgery voucher

For a redesigned nose.

For Geoff, just 7,

His presents will be

Nintendo, a dirt bike

And a big-screen TV.

A laser-light gun,

A remote-control car,

A new CD player

And an electric guitar.

For the exercise room

A family surprise

A Nautilus gizmo

To shape up our thighs.

My wife gets a hairbrush

Of native-carved bone

And for her BMW,

A cellular phone.

A Cuisinart system

That matches the toaster

I bought her last year

To go with the Oster

A small coffee grinder,

A microwave-baker,

And just what she’s wanted,

A new sushi maker.

Books on the homeless

On bonding, cocooning,

And a sexy new dress

That’ll have her friends swooning.

The kids’ gift for me

Is no problem to guess:

To record “thirtysomething,”

A new VHS.

From my wife, graphite gold clubs

To sharpen my game

And a real leather bag

Embossed with my name.

And if all my hints

Have been listened to:

An L.L. Bean “world’s best”

Collapsible canoe.

As I lie here reflecting

On things great and small,

A voice from outside

My name seems to call.

A glance at my Rolex

Shows it’s a quarter to 1,

And I almost reach for

My German handgun.

But I finally decide

It is nothing of harm

Or it would have triggered

The intruder alarm.

I go to the window,

Crank open the minis

And am nose-to-nose

With a man far from skinny.

“I’m Santa,” says he,

“And I can hardly believe,

“When I checked on my list,

“That there’s nothing to leave.

“It seems every new gadget

“You’ve already bought up,

“And your name’s on the list

“For things not even thought up.

“So I’ll offer best wishes,

“Then be on my way.

“It’s for others, less well-off,

“I’ve loaded my sleigh.”

He speaks to his reindeer,

And away they all dash

As I grab my electronic

Camera with flash.

It seems the split-second

Auto-focus delay

Is all that he needs

To get cleanly away.

But I hear him exclaim

As he rides out of sight,

“Yuppie Christmas to all,

And to all, gouda night!”


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