THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Clement Clarke Moore
or Henry Livingston
(Adapted for Friday Fun Fact by our very own team of mildly-skeptical writers)
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
And why is that?! Is everything frozen or on the rocks these days?!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
I hope they were hung with care – this is a fire hazard! How does this family philosophy go – no, you can’t play with fire, but please hang combustibles above the fireplace?!
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;
OK, we can forgive the “sugar-plums” dancing part – this is an old text; they didn’t have iPods or Red Rider BB guns back then. But really?! The kids were “nestled all snug in their beds?” Look, I don’t even have kids and I know putting them to bed on Christmas Eve is like wrestling cookies from Santa Claus – it’s a major challenge!
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
Settled down for a long winter’s nap?! Who the h-e-double-hockey-stick is going to finish wrapping the gifts?! I hear enough of stories to know exactly how many gifts are wrapped AFTER the challenge of putting the kids to bed – 99.53%!*
* The other .47 % bought their gifts online, and had them wrapped before shipping.
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.
Great – now we’ve got issues: the lawn is torn up, you have to repair the shutters on a holiday when the hardware store is closed, and the kids have to be awake by now. Does anyone believe if there was “such a clatter” that the kids wouldn’t be awake? On Christmas Eve?! Anyone? ! Bueller?!
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Clearly, this guy’s thoughts are in other places…
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Given his previous statement, he might actually mean “wandering eyes.”
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.
Little old driver?! So lively and quick?! This dude is a jolly fat man. Either we’ve had a little too much egg nog, or our narrator may need to hit the gym himself.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
On the lawn, in the air… what is this – a UFO sighting?
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
Yeah – get off the gosh darn lawn!
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.
And the kids still aren’t awake? Riiiiigggght.
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,
Fur?! Does PETA know about this?
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
So, what you’re telling us here is that he was planning on sliding down chimneys all night dressed in fur. I’m thinking even back then there were better options that would have maximized his speed & efficiency – lycra, spandex, maybe a skin-diving suit?
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
You let peddlers into your house? Don’t most people post a “No Solicitation” sign these days? Maybe the bundle of toys is a distraction while he robs you blind!
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;
This guy is a cornucopia of nature!
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
Pipe?! Is this setting a good example for the younger generation? No smoking allowed in the house, kids! Er, uh, we mean “no smoking” kids!
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,
Elf?! He’s never been portrayed as an elf! Ronnie James Dio would not be pleased if he read this!
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
Oh, good – laughing at Santa Claus. Guess what list that puts you on…
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,
Has this little driver-elf-chubby-plump-jolly guy who breaks into houses to leave gifts ever been brought up on B&E charges? (Special Holiday Victim Note: B&E is Breaking & Entering for those readers who don’t watch Law & Order, or have family members who specialize in the craft.).
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,
The little old driver who has miraculously turned into a fat man is now springing. Got it…
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
To very appropriately quote the immortal words of the great fictional character, Cousin Eddie,
“Merry Christmas! Sh***** was full!”
Raise A Christmas/Holiday Grog!
May Your Friday Be Followed By A Holiday Weekend with Much Holiday Cheer!