‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the wards
not a creature was stirring, not even in Oyama
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
in hopes that Mayor Baker soon would be there
The councillors were nestled all snug in their wards
while visions of grants danced in their heads
The Shaw camera, and I in my cap
Had just settled in for our half hour nap
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter
We sprang from our seats to see what was the matter
Away to the lobby I flew like a flash
Wondering if the mayor had found extra cash
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to the rail corridor below
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a miniature sleigh with six tiny reindeer
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it had to be St. Jim
More rapid than kokanee his coursers they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Now Owen! Now Rob!
Now Penny and Vader!
On Scarrow, On Ireland!
On Alberto De Feo!
To the top of Spion Kop!
To the top of Lakes!
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 Pelmewash the coursers they flew
for some rock-work, some stop signs and negotiations, 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 came Mayor Baker with a bound
He was dressed all in tweed, from his head to his foot
not even tarnished from the public hearing afoot
A bundle of votes 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!
He carried in his sack, what appeared nonetheless
to be petitions for the Alternate Approval Process
The stump of a gavel he held tight in his teeth,
banging it down, the sound it did make
No more public comment, he said, scratching his 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
another restructure, nothing to dread
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all of the stockings with sidewalks and lights
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 did speed o’er the new highway
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to Lake Country and to all a good night!
With apologies to the author, I obviously didn’t write the original of this long-standing Christmas poem and it turns out there is some controversy about who actually wrote the original, first published in New York’s Troy Sentinel newspaper in 1823. Titled A Visit from St. Nicholas, the poem is usually credited to Clement Clarke Moore, a professor and poet, although the family of Dutch poet Henry Livingston Jr. claims it was penned by Livingston.
From all of us at the Lake Country Calendar, Merry Christmas!