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Happy Christmas to all

Posted

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: In this edition of the Bulletin, I continue a tradition carried by one of my mentors, the late Tom Reeves, who published newspapers in California, Colorado and Alamogordo, where he hired me as editor in 1995. Each year, on or around Christmas Eve, Reeves would publish this holiday classic in his newspaper. I followed the tradition after succeeding him as publisher of the Alamogordo Daily News in 1998, and when I joined the Bulletin in 2010. So here’s the classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by American poet Clement Clarke. Moore, who lived from 1779 to 1863. I recommend reading it to your kids, and have fun explaining things like kerchiefs and coursers. Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

A Visit from St. Nicholas

’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 sugarplums

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 luster of midday 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 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 housetop 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 goodnight!”



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