'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house
There was much stirring, especially jumping on the couch;
The stockings, nonexistent, the tree stuffed to the gills,
Saw Daddy assembling toys in the back and Mommy searching for pills;
Jaxon, hyped up on sugar, refused to sleep in his own bed,
He preferred to stay up, playing in Hendrix's cage instead;
When Mommy and Daddy finally wrestled him in,
The hour was late, the chance of sleep, slim.
Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Daddy sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen he flew like a flash,
hitting the counter on his way out and making a big crash.
The moon, hardly visible through the falling rain,
Gave him just enough light draw his gun and take aim
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a old little driver, so lively and quick,
Daddy wondered for a moment "How isn't he airsick?"
More quickly than Hendrix his tame reindeer came,
And he 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!"
As dirt that before the wild dust devil flies,
Those reindeer, they shot through the evening sky,
So up to our rooftop the whole group flew,
With the sleigh full of stuff, and the little old man, too.
And then, in a twinkling, we heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Alarmed, Daddy rushed back in and let out the hound,
While through the back door 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 Daddy laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave Dad to know we had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but gave Hendrix's head a small pat,
Then emptied his gifts under the tree and said "That's that"
Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
He went back outside and to the rooftop 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 we heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."