Press Play: In line or online, It's Christmas time!

Paying homage to Clement Clarke Moore's "Christmas Poem," Connie's column describes the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, while offering a modern rendition of the classic literary piece.



By Connie Swinney

'Twas 12 days before Christmas and all through the town,

Not a creature was ready for what was to go down.

All I could see was a glazed look in their eyes.

Like a deer caught in headlights. No smile disguise;


“Are you ready for Christmas?” I say to be merry;

She turned with a jerk and a glare that was scary.

There's always a pause and a quizzical stare.

“Why no, Miss Connie!” How could I dare?


She gave me a nod as we shared nervous sighs;

Then on down the store aisle amidst toddler cries;

Wondering what drove us to wade through the crowds;

All the toys, electronics and clothing that we vowed.


The thoughts of the children all snug in their beds;

Stuffed animals and skateboards and new phones in their heads;

So with a cart full of items, to check out I go;

Whisking by carts that were moving too slow.


The closer I moved to the front of the store;

I begin to hear beeping of cash registers galore;

Dozens of cashiers waving price wands like wizards;

Items across scanners like snow in a blizzard.


My eyes twinkled as I moved forward in line;

Soon be done shopping in just the nick of time.

My trek through the stores didn't turn out so bad;

Until I realized how many on my list I still had.


A deep feeling of dread soon settled in my tummy;

Not even sure if I still have any money.

Then Dot-com dreams encircle my head.

Doing business in the Cloud might work instead.


As soon as I put my Scroogle bias aside,

Flying fingers on keyboards began to take stride.

Now Amazon! Now UPS! Now Federal Express!

On the web! On sale! In the mail! My behest!


An order of steaks, some sausage and cheese.

Even a website with jewelry and $7 Tees.

That forgotten niece from college, forgotten no more.

No wrapping, no bows, no tape on floors.


In the end, it all happened in the blink of an eye;

Just leaving a few gifts to wrap on the fly;

But just when I held onto a shopping reprieve,

My anxiety returned so close to the Eve.


I sprang to my feet with all I could muster;

To join once again the belated shopping bluster.

A last minute scurry to the store down the road,

Stocking stuffers, yoga pants . . . another holiday load.


If you tremble to think about the last trip to the mall,

Take a minute to remember the best time of all;

As you're racing to buy that last gift that you're after,

Be grateful for wishes, good fortune and laughter.


Connie Swinney is a staff writer for The Highlander and Burnet Bulletin. She covers Marble Falls city and community news, the law enforcement and public safety beats and the 33rd/424th Judicial District Courts. Send her a note at


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