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Editor's Note: All right - I know it's past the Christmas holiday, but I didn't want to wait months to share Ol' Don's sendup of "The Night Before Christmas" with you. I think we can all relate to the "Get this done by the holidays" pressure! Relax and enjoy! - M. Kelley


A Month Before Christmas
©1999 "Ol' Don" Burgdorf

'Twas a month before Christmas and all 'round my place
were signs of a turmoil. It looked a disgrace.
Patterns and cut-outs and wood chips galore.
Sawdust and paint drops all over the floor.

A friend came by and asked, "What happened here?"
I said, "I'm getting ready to spread Christmas cheer."
People enjoy hand made presents I said
as I looked for my mallet under the bed.

He was shaking his head as he walked out the door
and I thought, he may not be back anymore.
But that's alright, I've no time for chat.
I wish I knew where that mallet was at.

I once thought that power would get things done quicker
so I went "on-line" and looked with my clicker
but so many kinds tied my mind in a knot
I'll just use the tools that I've got.

I've V-tools and gouges and veiners and more,
bent gouges, a drawknife (which fell to the floor).
Detail knives and skew chisels too,
And wood held in place with a wood carver's screw.

Smaller pieces of wood I hold in my hand
And whittle away to create something grand.
The time was short so I carved without rest.
My obsession with carving became manifest.

'Bout the chips in the bed my wife threw a fit
And I really thought she'd get over it
She screamed and shouted, "This marriage won't last!"
I said, "Christmas is near, it's coming up fast."

With my wood blanks and patterns, videos too­
instructions that tell me just what to do,
I know these gifts will be done in a flash.
I hope that my mallet's not out in the trash.

Grain direction was wrong, a piece broke in half.
Three serious pieces just good for a laugh.
Others unfinished or painted so weird
They look like something that ought to be feared.

It didn't work out according to plan.
It seems I'm a Santa also-ran.
But if I had found that mallet I know
these carvings would have been ready to go.

By now Santa's packed and on his way
With his, "Ho, Ho, Ho". In his fancy sleigh
he's doing his job of spreading good cheer
but I'm not so sure he'll be stopping here.

Wife went home to Mama, no one treats me kind.
Everyone acts like I've lost my mind.
The house is a mess, my life is a wreck.
Next year I'll write everybody a check.

You are invited to visit Ol' Don's home page, or email him at ol'don@artofdon.com