‘Twas the night before Christmas

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family around tree

children by the fire

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In the hope 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;

long winter's nap
threw up the sash

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 midday to objects below

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

 

 

St. Nicholas on roof

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! Now, Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Dunder and Blixen!

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!

Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away! All!”

 

toys

As dry leaves 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 tiny hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

St. Nick with sack
St. Nick delivering toys
children at table

 

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 pedlar just opening his pack.

His eyeshow they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up in a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

THE REINDEER AND THE SLEIGH

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.

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.

children discover stockings
St. Nick going down chimney]

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockingsthen 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,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

sleeping children
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Rating: 9.0/10 (41 votes cast)
'Twas the night before Christmas, 9.0 out of 10 based on 41 ratings - Total nr. of readings: 4,797 Copyright © The author [2014] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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