Annie's Mailbox: Holiday cheer for our readers

Dear Readers: Merry Christmas! Here’s a little something sent in by a reader (author unknown) who thought it would provide some holiday cheer:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.

Instructions were studied and we were inspired, in hopes we could manage “Some Assembly Required.”

The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds, while Dad and I faced the evening with dread.

A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie’s townhouse to boot. And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot.

We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat -- let no parts be missing or parts incomplete.

Too late for last-minute returns or replacements, if we can’t get it right, it goes in the basement.

When what to my worrying eyes should appear, but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,

With each part numbered and every slot named, so if we failed, only we could be blamed.

More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out, all over the carpet they were scattered about.

“Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there! Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!

Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand.”

“Honey,” said hubby, “you just glued my hand.”

And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact, that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact

To keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night, with “assembly required” till morning’s first light.

We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work. Till our eyes, they went bleary. Our fingers all hurt.

The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin, before we attached the last rod and last pin.

Then laying the tools away in the chest, we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.

But I said to my husband just before I passed out, “This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.

Tomorrow we’ll cheer, let the holiday ring, and not have to run to the store for a thing!

We did it! We did it! The toys are all set

For the perfect, most perfect, Christmas, I bet!”

Then off to dreamland, at last sweet repose, I gratefully went, although I suppose,

There’s something to say for those self-deluded. I’d forgotten that batteries are never included!

Dear Annie: Three years ago, I was privileged to donate a kidney to someone I didn’t know. I had been a registered organ donor for many years, but at age 66, I realized I might outlive my organs’ usefulness.

My recipient and I weren’t a great match, but a living kidney is much better than a perfect match from a deceased donor. Today we are both healthy and have become great friends.

Currently more than 104,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. Nearly 82,000 are waiting for a kidney. Every day, 18 people die while waiting. In making their holiday gift lists, I encourage your readers to think about giving something truly useful -- a gift that can’t be bought at any price and requires no wrapping or shipping. The National Kidney Foundation’s Holiday Gift of Life campaign reminds us that for any occasion, the greatest gift we can give is the promise to save or enhance someone’s life with organs and tissues that we no longer need. If possible, consider becoming a living donor. Give the gift of life. Your readers can learn more at www.kidney.org.

— Santa Rosa, Calif.

Dear Santa Rosa: On behalf of our readers, warm thanks to you and others who give life. You are greatly admired.

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