On Christmas Eve, and with apologies to Clement Clark Moore, I offer this revised version of a Christmas classic.
Twas the Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at sometime thereafter.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House, were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as “I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the second part (hereinafter “Mamma”), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtent to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
The party in the first part noticed the moon, in full phase, on the topmost part of the new-fallen snow. The party of the first part was informed and believed, and based upon such information and belief, alleged that said moon gave the lustre of mid-day, otherwise known as noon, to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter the “Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name.
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen (hereinafter the “Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named Rudolph may have been involved.)
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.
The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House…
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
…and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House…
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
…and Claus entered said House via the chimney.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney…
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
…and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items.
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 was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
Although Clause did not speak, he did laugh, which caused his rotund stomach area to move in a rotund manner.
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.
Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Or words to that effect.