A Mother"s Twelve Days of Christmas

By Barbara Schneider

Neither slush nor snow, blizzard-like winds nor dark of night will keep the American mother from her appointed rounds—preparing for her family"s Christmas celebration.

With frost-bitten fingers she clutches her shopping list, battles like a salmon headed upstream in crowded malls and endures internet down time. She fights in dishabille in discount stores and finally finds just the right gift for her child"s eight favorite teachers, Girl Scout leader and bus driver.

Through it all she nobly maintains her other duties. Mothers with singlemindedness—and often singlehanded—create, preserve and provide holiday traditions for their families with passion and determination. To cheer these family superheroes on we"ve taken outrageous liberties with "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Try singing this to the mom in your life as she counts down her twelve days of Christmas chores.

" On the first day of Christmas my family gave to me a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the second day of Christmas my family gave to me two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the third day of Christmas my family gave to me three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the fourth day of Christmas my family gave to me four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the fifth day of Christmas my family gave to me five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the sixth day of Christmas my family gave to me six gifts for shipping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the seventh day of Christmas my family gave to me seven shirts for sewing, six gifts for wrapping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the eighth day of Christmas my family gave to me eight teachers" shopping, seven shirts for sewing, six gifts for shipping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the ninth day of Christmas my family gave to me nine gifts for wrapping, eight teachers" shopping, seven shirts for sewing, six gifts for shipping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the tenth day of Christmas my family gave to me 10 cards for writing, nine gifts for wrapping, eight teachers" shopping, seven shirts for sewing, six gifts for shipping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my family gave to me (whew!) 11 layers of dust, 10 cards for writing, nine gifts for wrapping, eight teachers" shopping, seven shirts for sewing, six gifts for shipping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my family gave to me 12 guests for dinner, eleven layers of dust,10 cards for writing, nine gifts for wrapping, eight teachers" shopping, seven shirts for sewing, six gifts for shipping, five tubs with rings, four filthy floors, three laundry piles, two unmade beds and a sink full of dishes dir—ty. "

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year