Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

The Christmas Rush (Clara Ann Thompson)

Well, we went down town a-shopping,
   My brother and sister and I;
'Twas just two days before Christmas,
   With ev'rything yet to buy,
There were gifts for nieces and nephews.
   And trinkets for sister and me,
There were sweets for the Christmas dinner,
   And things for the Christmas tree.
We felt there was pleasure before us,
   When we cheerfully boarded the train,
But we found 'twas only business,
   Ere we reached our home again.
The streets were crowded with people,
   And at last when we reached the stores.
There was such a mass of shoppers,
   We could scarcely pass through the doors.
We forced our way to the counter,
   This bitter truth to learn —
That others were there before us,
   So we must await our turn.
At last it came, and we purchased,
   And then — 'twas enough to derange!
We had the self-same experience,
   Awaiting- our parcels and change.
'Twas the same at ev'ry counter;
   'Twas the same at ev'ry store;
Just pushing and crowding and waiting,
   And seemingly, nothing more.
Well, after much taxing of patience,
   Our Christmas shopping was done,
And laden with many parcels.
   We gladly started for home.
But the crowd had almost doubled,
   When we came out on the street.
And, but for the good-will of Christmas,
   We'd have lost our tempers complete.
!t seemed that half of the city,
   Had come out a-shopping, that day.
 While half stood at the show windows.
   To look, and to block the way.
We tried to rush — it was useless,
   Of course we missed our train,
Then waited an hour for another,
   And at last we reached home again.
And now, a few words of counsel,
   I would kindly give, by your leave, —
Don't put off your Christmas shopping,
   Till the day before Christmas eve.

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