The year had been good, the work was steady but overtime was rare

Christmas present buying time was here and there wasn’t much money to spare

Finally on December 23 the team assembled for a speech about a job “well done”

“And this group of employees take pride in their job and are second to none”

Finally after the speech makers tire, the envelopes came out accompanied by a 4 # ham

The Christmas bonus was at hand to bail one out of the cash shortage jam

Pushing the ham aside one tears open the envelope to get to the check inside

Trying to look appreciative for the 50 bucks over the sound of disappointed sighs

A years’ worth of sweat for a measly $50 while that prick straw boss drives a new Mercedes

News for that mouth breather, the car and a million dollars couldn’t attract the ladies

What the heck, it’s a long weekend with good food, friendship and family time

The shopping has to be done in a hurry, hoping to find good deals at the five and dime

Time is short, purchasing strategy is crucial trying to cover all the bases

But shopping usually breaks down to traffic patterns and availability of parking spaces

With my list in hand, I set out to buy what looks like fifteen gifts

So I wade into the discount store elbow to elbow with the rest of the spendthrifts

Let’s see, first on the list I have to buy for two sisters and two brothers

Maybe I could spend about five dollars on each and less on the others

I was also thinking about Dad and wishing when younger hadn’t been so randy

As five dollars doesn’t go far, not even for a tin of obviously last year’s candy

Perhaps the most bang for the buck would be in the health and beauty aisle

Maybe for the sisters no name perfume that comes in a spray bottle not a vial

The two brothers may get a kick out of matching Chia Pets

However at $17.95, I’d have to give the rest a cheap card with my regrets

The hour is getting late, the list is long and the unruly crowd large

With one overheated customer yelling loudly when the store refused to take her charge

Trying to stay positive,  I knew I had to buy for Aunt Martha and Uncle Louie

Though they had a penchant for fried Spam, they had always been good to me

So I needed to include both of them in my tiny spending spree

The years had caught up with them and their joints had gotten a little creaky

Maybe a travel pack of adult undergarments as Louie had become slightly leaky

And Aunt Martha with her sad eyed dog Precious, a digestive aid

Martha had become noisy after eating and blamed the dog for the vapors she made

Precious was then tossed outside and told to do her business

The poor pooch felt so obligated to produce that the vet worried about her thinness

Alas their private problems are too personal a gift to be opened under the tree

And the Christmas gathering would all re-gift those tiny two dollar baskets of potpourri

What to do,  I’d already been jostled into an impulse table bruising my thigh

When across the street a c-store a neon lottery sign caught my eye

So Christmas morn the laughter and paper tearing increased as the gifts were handed out

My envelopes stopped the noise as their scratch offs might end their poor house drought

A fleeting pipe dream vanished as everyone realized they weren’t to be a millionaire

But I had the knowledge that just for a moment I had given the best gift of anyone there

I also knew that in my fridge purchased with the leftover cash I had a twelve pack cooling

Everyone had an instant ray of hope, and I had a buzz coming. No Fooling.