Twas the Night Before Christmas (For Shoppers)

by Michael RichComment — Updated August 5, 2023

Published 12/96
by Columbia BBB State Newspaper

`Twas a week before Christmas and all through the town,
Came echoing cries of "The Best Deal Around!" 
But the seasonal joy was marred by the sight, 
Of fast-dealing swindlers - a perennial blight.

The stocking to be hung by the chimney with care,
Would likely be filled with questionable ware. 
As Ma in her kerchief and Pa in his cap, 
Were busily searching for bargains to wrap.

When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter, 
To the TV they ran to see what was the matter. 
A sincere (?) announcer so earnest (on cue), 
Did his best to convince them what he said was so true. 

More rapid than eagles his adjectives came, 
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name- 
"Now ladies, now gentleman, now children and all, 
Our offers are super, here's the number to call.

"The buy of your life, there's nothing so fine, 
As five rooms of furniture for two-ninety-nine." 
And at that same moment there appeared at their door, 
A glib talking salesman with values galore.

A bundle of bargains he had in his car. 
Goodies and gadgets priced way below par. 
Imported woolens for a handsome new suit, 
Encyclopedias and steaks knives to boot.

While they stood there transfixed, he spieled on and on, 
The latest edition was tossed on the lawn. 
And the bargains they saw made their temperatures rise, 
"What wonderful values! What fabulous buys!"

Imported perfume at $2 a quart, 
Mink coats at discount (if you don't care what sort). 
And just look at this, "ere your money is spent, 
Our toys are reduced a full 50 percent."

Brand name appliances with prices to cheer, 
(Except they don't say they're left over from last year.) 
Furniture marked up so the price can come down, 
To make it appear the best deal in town. 

And diamonds so cheap that even a sailor, 
Can deck out his gal like Elizabeth Taylor. 
"We'll save lots of cash," they exclaimed with delight. 
"Let's buy all our presents on this very night." 

As they reached for their purses and were turning around, 
Down the chimney came Sanity Clause with a bound. 
The look in his eye and his cautioning hand, 
Made them stop in their tracks as if by command. 

"Do not be deluded," old Sanity said. 
"By the advertised claims that you just heard and read. 
"Outfits who use this high discount appeal, 
will promise you anything to make a fast deal.

"Complete satisfaction after you buy 
is quite unimportant to this sort of guy."
He looked at them shrewdly and said, not in jest,
"Always investigate - before you invest.

"There are plenty of good honest merchants you'll find, 
If you peel off the promises and look what's behind. 
"These good folks are just as concerned as you are, 
To stretch out your dollars and make them go far. 

"Don't try to get something for nothing," he said. 
"You'll wind up with nothing for plenty instead." 
With this warning he left and he hopped in his sleigh, 
To his team gave a whistle and they scampered away. 
But they heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,

"Merry Christmas to all - who do business right!"

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© 2010-2015 Michael Rich.

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