The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles 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, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

7 responses to this post.

  1. Dave, Joyous Chanukah.
    You left the blood from the grater scraped knuckles out of your latke recipe. My mom always has it in hers, and they are mmmmmm good.
    Of course, nowadays with all the intermarriage in my family I am off to celebrate Christmas at my brother’s in NJ.
    Peace on earth is what I wish for. Fran

    Reply

  2. Thanks for the Clement C. Moore post.

    There is some interesting history to it.
    Clement C. Moore wrote that poem in Manhattan on 22nd Street in 1822.

    Here is a bird’s eye view of the location today.
    http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=40.746509~-74.004263&style=o&lvl=2&scene=1471372&sp=aN.40.746774_-74.004507_Clement%20C.%20Moore%20Park_

    That is Clement C. Moore Park which is the former location of his farm house.

    His father, Benjamin Moore, was an Episcopalian minister and rector of Trinity Church in New York City. Benjamin Moore presided over Alexander Hamilton after he was shot by Aaron Burr on July 11, 1804.
    http://patersongreatfalls.com/0325pgf/news/027.htm

    More info here.
    http://www.americagallery.com/night.shtml

    Reply

  3. Brother Dave-Happy Chanukah. I some how missed out on your latke recipe-can you kindly give me a link? Thanks for the RSS that keeps all my dreidels turning as they should.

    Reply

  4. […] I suppose Christmas breaks your heart too. […]

    Reply

  5. Nice one .. a little bit late though!

    Reply

  6. Well, here it is getting closer to the night before Christmas again. Looking forward to all the old classics with Jimmy Stewart, Allister Simm and the kid that’s just gotta have that Red Ryder BB gun. Wishing you all the merriest you’ve had. Have a good one, Picknchuz.

    Reply

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