Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem
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 tinny 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!
I used to be able to recite this poem, the entire poem, with no mistakes. I can pretty much do it now, but have to cue myself here and there. I remember sitting in grade school, watching this 'movie' done with puppets (you could see the strings if you watched closely) in the cafeteria in the week before Christmas. All the classes were called in and we watched like an assembly. Also, on the movie list was one of the Nativity. I was in public school...but those were the days when we sang 'My Country Tis of Thee' after the pledge and my 1st grade teacher even said a prayer every morning after that, so that we could pray for a good day of learning and for the troops in Vietnam. Her husband was overseas and her son was in our class. Strange, but nobody thought it was out of the ordinary for us to begin our day in that manner.
This year, my Mom asked that each one of us tie a yellow ribbon for the soldiers serving overseas and at home. We did and we do...think of you/them often. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice so that we can do this...write about whatever pops into our heads without fear. It is our right to speak of freedom, whether it's about writing of our beliefs, our religion or following our dreams. I thank you and my family thanks you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Merry Christmas...from my house to yours, may you be happy and safe this holidays season...**Tami

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