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T’was the night before Christmas, and my house was cozy and nice;
But I was in the workshop with the elves,
as busy as mice.
My sack was filled, all stuffed with toys
To be given to all the good girls and boys.
I knew the children were all snug in their beds,
While thoughts of Christmas morn danced in their heads.
Their moms and their dads had settled down, too;
Knowing what Santa was going to do.
But approaching your house, I made such a clatter,
Your dad sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
He ran to the door, and he opened it wide
To see what was making all that noise outside.
In the moonlight as it glistened the new-fallen snow;
It was easy to see me in the nighttime glow.
He smiled big, he had no fear
As he saw my sleigh and my eight reindeer.
He saw me driving my sleigh, so lively and quick.
He knew in a moment it was me – St. Nick!
Up, up for the roof I would aim,
As I whistled and shouted and called them by name.
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
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!”
And then, in a twinkling, he could hear on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each deer’s hoof.
As I jumped out the sleigh and quickly turned around,
Down the chimney I went with my sack and a bound.
I must have been a sight, all dressed in fur;
And all covered in soot, so it were.
My bundle of toys I had thrown on my back,
I must have looked like a peddler, just opening his sack.
Your Dad’s eyes, how they twinkled so merry.
The cool night air made his nose like a cherry!
His mouth, wide open in amazement and glee;
He barely believed what he was about to see.
I spoke not a word, but I went straight to my work.
I filled all the stockings and I turned with a jerk.
But before I left, I gave him a wink,
Ate a cookie or two and had a milk drink.
Up the chimney, to the reindeer as they would wait,
Off to see other children – I can’t be late.
Dad ran out the door – he wanted to see that sight;
If it really was me he had seen that night.
I jumped in the sleigh and I gave a whistle.
They all took off like a speeding missile.
But I exclaimed, as we flew out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all good night!”
– Adapted from the original “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822. A family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel who published the poem anonymously. The first publication date was 23rd December 1823 and it was an immediate success. It was not until 1844 did Clement Clarke Moore claim ownership.