HR Hero Line

How the boss stole Christmas

by Vanessa L. Goddard

Many thanks to Dr. Seuss for the inspiration.

Everyone down in HR-ville
Liked Christmas a lot.
But the boss, in his office upstairs,
He did not!

The boss hated parties,
The whole holiday season.
Free turkeys, Secret Santa,
I’m not even teasin’.

It could be he was stingy,
Wouldn’t part with a dime.
It could be he was busy,
He hadn’t the time.
But I think the reason most likely of all
Was his brain was, not one,
but two sizes too small.


A year of bad decisions
Kept us on our toes.
Now with the holidays,
He could fix all our woes.
Yet he looks at our festivities
With a frown on his face,
While each employee decorates
His or her small, cube-y space.
It’s practically Kwanza, Hanukah, Christmas!
All this cheer is too cheery.
Let’s get back to business.

The workers would arrive
For a lunchtime feast.
And they’d feast. And they’d feast.
Oh, for hours they’d feast!

On pies and baked hams and . . .
(wait for it)
Even roast beast.
All this nonworking time the boss
couldn’t stand in the least.

He tried to stop it from coming.
He worked at it yearlong.
There was that Like-Liker,
a Facebooking king.
He chimed in on this, that, and
Including the Boss’s management styling.

“Can him!” the Boss said.
“Set him free for his ‘Likes.'”
“And their comments on me,
I’ll have heads on some pikes.”
“Wait,” cried HR, “but the N-L-R-B
Says we can’t, we mustn’t punish for solidarity.”

“Well, how about Cindy, head of that bunch
Who plans walks and book clubs and holiday brunch?
She takes too much time away from her filing,
Expressing milk on her breaks like she’s always stockpiling.
Certainly she is ripe for a firing.”

The law is the law
for both HR and bosses.
That’s a no-no that will bring
Many lawsuiting losses.
So Cindy is safe
And the Like-Liker, too.
Please, Mr. Boss, find something nicer to do.

And the Boss thought.
And he thought.
And he came up with a plan.
A sneaky, stinky, slimy plan!

“I’ve got just the thing
To put a wrench in their fun.”
So he stayed late that night
And undid all they’d done.
He took down their stockings,
Their ribbons, their bows.
He took down the tree
And hid it below.
And tossed away bags of fluffy fake snow.

The next day came the workers
Ready to celebrate with joy.
And the Boss in his office,
All innocent and coy,
Waited to hear them all whimper
Like a little girl or a boy,
Who has just lost his or her favorite toy.

He waited and listened
And what did he hear?
Happy holidays!
Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year!
So he peeked out the door
To see it all with his eyes.
And that’s when the Boss got his biggest surprise:
Christmas came on its own without ribbons or ties.

The Boss stood there puzzled,
Couldn’t figure it out.
He’d done all he could.
He hadn’t a doubt.
Yet the workers had smiles,
Gave hugs and kisses.
They laughed and joked
And wished holiday wishes.

Then the Like-Liker and Cindy
Headed his way
With a box wrapped in tissue,
Most festive and gay.
#1 Boss, said the mug, which in that box lay.

And what happened then?
Well, the Boss says it’s true.
The size of his brain grew, and it grew.
He got it. He did. He finally knew.
So he fetched the tree and the trimmings,
Spread joy all about.
That was the day he became a better boss,
He did not have a doubt.
The Holiday Spirit—it can’t be shut out.

Vanessa L. Goddard is an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, practicing in the firm’s Morgantown, West Virginia, office. She may be contacted at

2 thoughts on “How the boss stole Christmas”

  1. This poem feels great, and it isn’t that bad…yet. But, we are slowly losing more and more time off, and the entities most harmed are our employers. They give perks with one hand and take them away with the other. This is supposed to be the year of the raise, due to the great year business had last year. We’ll see.

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