‘Twas the night before Christmas, Lake Country-style

Merry Christmas to all of Lake Country, and to all a good night

‘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!