On Christmas Eve, it doesn't seem fitting to publish the usual round of complaints. Instead, I'd like to share a little poem the office received from reader Maggie Nichols in Clearwater. I found several variations on the Internet, but it wasn't attributed to any specific author, so I didn't feel too guilty about editing it a bit myself.
The Night Before Christmas in Florida
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,
no noses were frozen, no snow fluttered down.
No children in flannels were tucked into bed,
they all wore their shorty pajamas instead.
To make wreaths of holly, it wasn't too hard,
for holly trees grew in most every back yard.
In front of the houses were daddies and moms
adorning the fruit trees and coconut palms.
The slumbering kiddies were dreaming in glee,
in hopes they'd find water skis under the tree.
They all knew that Santa was well on his way,
in a shiny red sports car, instead of a sleigh.
He whizzed up the highways and zoomed up the road,
he drove with the top down, delivering his load.
He raced through the night in the balmy, salt air.
Like a tourist in Florida, he had not a care.
The tropical moon gave the cities a glow,
and lighted the way for old Santa below.
As he jumped from the auto he gave a wee chuckle,
he was dressed in Bermudas with a Disney World buckle.
There weren't any chimneys, but that caused him no gloom,
for Santa came in through the Florida room.
He stopped at each house, but stayed only a minute,
to empty his sack of stuff that was in it.
Before he departed, he treated himself
to a big glass of orange juice left on a shelf.
He turned with a smile and dashed to the car.
He'd made only half his deliveries so far!
He shifted the gears and stepped on the gas,
and up A1A, he went like a flash.
And I heard him exclaim as he went on his way,
"Merry Christmas y'all, I wish I could stay!"