The Night Before Christmas

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 mama in her kerchief and I in my cap,
had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my 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 luster 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 Vixon!
On, comet! On, Cupid!, 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 housetop the coursers they flew,
with a 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 hand and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came
with a bound.

He was all dressed 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 on 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 round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl
full 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 led me to believe
I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straiqht
to his work, and filled all the stockings,
then turned with a jerk.
And, laying a finger aside of his nose,
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 as he
drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to All,
and to all a good night!!"

This is a card that a sister sent me.
Inside it says:
Finally, I decided, the cat's going
to be in the tree anyway,
so why not just use it as an ornament!

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