Holiday Cheer

" 'Twas the night before Christmas & all through the shop"

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shop, Not a worker was stirring, they'd all gone to stop. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

The workers were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of fair wages danced in their heads. And the union rep in his cap and his gown,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the shop floor there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my office 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 midday to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now! Dancer, now! Prancer, now! Donner and Blitzen! On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Vixen! 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 unions 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,

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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