Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas, and God Bless Our Military and Their Families

Staff Sgt. Raymond Golden of Charleston, S.C. and headed to Afghanistan sits near a Christmas tree above the atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one day before the Thanksgiving holiday in Atlanta, Georgia, November 21, 2007.
REUTERS/Tami Chappell

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 sugar-plums 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 lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny 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 house-top 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 good-night!"

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. It is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas Eve. The poem Twas the night before Christmas has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of Twas the night before Christmas St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeers! The author of the poem Twas the night before Christmas was a reticent man and it is believed that a family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel who published the poem. The condition of publication was that the author of Twas the night before Christmas was to remain anonymous. The first publication date was 23rd December 1823 and it was an immediate success. It was not until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry. Clement Clarke Moore came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. The tradition of reading Twas the night before Christmas poem on Christmas Eve is now a Worldwide institution.


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Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Merry Christmas, Wordsmith.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Merry Christmas, Word.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 5:56:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

My brother made it home from Iraq Sunday, just in time for Christmas with his kids. Here's to all who cannot be home this year.

Merry Christmas Wordsmith

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:30:00 PM  
Blogger Indigo Red said...

Merry Christmas, Word and to all our men and women everywhere.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 8:51:00 PM  
Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

His birth is a miracle. His love is our gift. His day is a time to rejoice!

Let us rejoice in all He has given us and love one another as He loves us.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Average American said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Wordsmith. May it be the best ever. Merry Christmas to all your readers and ESPECIALLY to our deployed troops and their families!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger Rivka said...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 3:38:00 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Wordsmith!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 6:03:00 AM  
Blogger Skye said...

Merry Christmas, Word!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 7:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Merry Christmas, Smithy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 9:11:00 AM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Blessed and happy holidays to u!..Off to a family party..yay! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Merry Christmas, Sparky!
I hope to see you soon....Starbucks?

Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger commoncents said...

Merry Christmas from your friends at COMMON CENTS!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

A verrrrrrrrrry Merry Christmas to you, Sir Wordsmith!!


Thursday, December 25, 2008 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Thanks for the history of The Night Before Christmas, Wordsmith. That's all news to me! :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS again. (I like saying it.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008 2:38:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Merry Christmas Wordsmith and readers!

I made it all the way up to Ohio hoping for some snow and got rain instead. Now it's cold again and nothing. Guess I'll go back to SC where it was 75 today at the beach.

Thursday, December 25, 2008 4:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jungle Mom said...

Merry Christmas from Asunción, Paraguay where it was 97* today!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Great post!!

Merry Christmas Word!!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 8:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Amy Proctor said...

Merry Christmas, wordsmith, and thank you for your support of the military over the years.

Thursday, December 25, 2008 9:39:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thanks everyone.

I hope to see you soon....Starbucks?


Friday, December 26, 2008 8:14:00 AM  

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