A holiday visit from St. Wanek

‘Twas the night before the Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule/Boxing Day/Christmas festive cycle, when all through the exquisitely decorated, midcentury modern-furnished home, not an interest rate was stirring, not even the Fed’s prime, so sayeth an investment banker gnome.

The stock certificates of several bankrupt furniture companies were hung by the chimney with flair, in hopes that a Cartersville, Ga.-based rug company would soon be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their recently recalled metal bunk beds;
While visions of fall and impact hazards danced in their precarious heads;

And Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my hoodie,
Had just recycled all those Amazon boxes now stripped of their goodies. 

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our California king to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like the Flash,
Tore open the shutters expecting the guy from DoorDash.

But it wasn’t a food delivery, alas and hark, no,
Espied was a blur of black, orange and gold below.

What to my wondering eyes did appear,
But an Ashley Homestores truck pulled by 18 Wisconsin reindeer,

With an older driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Wanek.

More rapid than Prime same-day delivery his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Wolf Blitzer!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now layaway! Layaway! Layaway all!”*

As rumors that before Election Day fly,
When they meet with misinformation, mount to the sky;

So up to the end of the cul-de-sac the big black truck flew
With a container full of dining, bedroom, occasional and St. Wanek too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on our hardwood floors
The prancing and pawing of delivery men as if they were playing parkour.

As I yelled at them to “Stop!” and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Wanek came with a bound.

He was dressed in Wisconsin winter fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of Vietnamese-made sofas he had flung on his back,
Looking like a Costco forklift on the attack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a Door County, Wisconsin, cherry!
His Midwestern mouth was drawn up like a bow,
With no beard on his chin to hide the glow;
He had a broad face and a cheese-filled belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of red pepper jelly.

He was seemingly well fed, a right jolly old badger,
And I laughed when I saw him, the ol’ cookie cadger;
With wink of his eye and sale prices** to covet
I knew this was a guy I’d like to accompany to a buffet.

He spoke not a word, not even a dragged-out Midwestern vowel,
But filled all our stockings that were as big as beach towels,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his 18-wheel big rig, and to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a SpaceX missile.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
“Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule/Boxing Day/Festivus to all, and to all an above-average start to what hopefully won’t be another bruising year for the industry! 
Oh, and good night!”

*Merchandise put on layaway will be held for 30 days with a minimum deposit of $100 or 20%, whichever is greater, and a nonrefundable $50 service fee. If I do not complete my layaway on time, or cancel at any time, all items will be returned to stock and I will be charged an additional $100 fee. The following items cannot be placed on layaway: furniture, wall art, rugs, lamps or accessories. Valid photo ID is required for all layaway contracts, pick-ups and refunds. Partial pick-ups are not permitted. Merchandise on layaway will not be marked down. Refunds will only be provided in the form of merchandise credit. Service and cancellation fees are subject to tax where applicable. All personal information collected will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy available at ashleyhomestores.com/privacy. I may withdraw my consent at any time by providing my phone number, social security number, a blood sample and a federal background check, by which I agree to receive automated messages for the rest of my life. Message and data rates apply.

**The MSRP is a Manufacturer SUGGESTED Retail Price. Dealer is not bound to sell any item at MSRP and may adjust the selling price due to market conditions, and the selling price may be higher or lower than MSRP. Any price that is above MSRP will be properly priced and displayed to include any additional markup. Taxes, delivery, insurance, fabric protection and financing fees extra. Some items may have additional features installed that are not included in the price. Absent vertical price restraints, the retail services that enhance interbrand competition might be underprovided. All prices are subject to change without notice and are not guaranteed, except that prices for an order that have been accepted are not subject to change after acceptance. Prices stated do not include any sales, use or excise tax or any other tax, duty or charge which is now in effect or may be hereafter imposed by any Federal, State or other authority. All such taxes, duties or other charges shall be paid by Buyer unless Buyer shall provide Seller an exemption certificate acceptable to the appropriate authorities. 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll covered the international home furnishings industry for 15 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He chairs the Department of Communication at Berry College in Northwest Georgia, where he has been a professor since 2003.

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