© 2024 KZYX
redwood forest background
Mendocino County Public Broadcasting
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Opinion: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas in 2020

With countless lights, Christmassy illuminated man-high trees and reindeer decorate the entrance of a shop
dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images
With countless lights, Christmassy illuminated man-high trees and reindeer decorate the entrance of a shop

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all o'er the house
Stirred the clicking — most frantic — of every mouse
All the stockings were hung by the TV with flair
But children played on apps in their rooms without care
Sneaking smart-phones and laptops right into their beds
While visions of going viral danced in their heads
When out on the street there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter
When what to my wandering eyes did appear
An electric sleigh, without any reindeer

"Self-driving" said the driver, so lively and quick
I knew from his TikToks it must be St. Nick
"I don't strew CO2," he said, "on glaciers and meadows
So my polar bear friends can hang onto their ice floes."
He had a snow-white goatee, and six-pack of a belly
"I just couldn't go on like a bowl full of jelly.
Now I eat fruits and veggies, meditate, and do yoga
And don't just watch e-sports — Elf Sports — on the sofa."

And after our chitchat he went straight to work,
And filled all the stockings with candies and merch
Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, he told me, "Lord knows
2020's been filled with sorrow and stresses
With Covid, job loss, and protesting injustice.
We miss those we loved, who are no longer here
Handshakes, hugs, friendships, and moments of cheer.
Santa's whole workshop is now Work from Home
I call elves for IT help, they ask, 'Safari or Chrome?'
I tell them of toys, and they say, 'You're on mute!'
I've got grey sweatpants on 'neath the top of my suit.
Family and friends can't gather this season
We miss their warm smiles, but we all know the reason.
The year has been tough, but still at each turn
People have become heroes, and helped us to learn:
That even across social distanced divides
we are all essential workers in each other's lives.
So thanks to doctors! To nurses! Delivery crews!
Farmers and pharmacists, bus drivers too!
Thanks to med techs, and scientists in laboratories
Those in clinical trials, and the great Dr. Fauci!"

Santa sprang to his sleigh, to the sky gave a whistle
And his autonomous vehicle took off like a missile
But I heard him exclaim, as he zipped out of sight,
"Look out for each other! And to all, a good night!"

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.