‘Twas the week before Christmas
when all through the house,
not a child was reading, not even about Mouse.
The books were all sorted by the shelf with care,
In hopes that they would soon find The Grinch sitting there;
The children were wrestled all snug to their beds,
While visions of Christmas parties danced in their heads,
And Papa with his Kindle, and I with my ebooks ready to tap,
Had just settled our brains for a too short night’s nap-
When down the hall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to ask the awake child, “What is the matter?”
Away to the door I flew like The Flash,
Turned on the lights and checked the book stash.
The moon that shone through the window decorated with “snow,”
Gave the luster of midday to the fallen books in its glow,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But my beautiful books and no children anywhere near,
In a little old nook, under a blanket cozy and thick,
I knew in a moment I would find words magical as St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles the sun and day came,
And the roused kids whistled, and shouted, and called each other by name,
“Now, Basher! Now, Panzer! Now, Salamander and Chicken!
On, Vomit! On, Stupid! Oh, Blunder and Sicken!
To the top of the shelf! To the top of the wall!
Now smash away, smash away, smash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, my temper mounting to the sky,
So each sensing trouble and dread to their rooms they all flew,
With questions of what would happen to them – and to the books too.
And then in a twinkling, I looked to the roof
With the feeling of a complete goof.
As I drew down my head, and was just coming around,
The children came running with books neatly bound.
They were dressed all in jammies, with books piled up almost a foot,
And their faces were sorry and sad so I said, “Caput;”
The bundle of books was flung on my back,
And we reached the couch and began to open the sack.
Their eyes-how they twinkled! They looked and saw Hairy MaClary.
They wanted books about roses, a pirate, and even a fairy.
Their little mouths were drawn up like a bow,
When we read the excitement of Frosty made of snow.
The stump of yesterday’s candy cane held tight in their teeth,
As we read The Mitten and the animals that get underneath.
They had a happy face, reading about Bear‘s big round belly,
They shook when they laughed, like can happen even without the telly.
Then they noticed an interesting lump on that silly old shelf,
And I laughed when I saw him, our little red Elf.
A wink in his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave off the impression he might be something to dread.
He spoke not a word, but caused me a great deal of work,
As I hid him in stockings and started to think him a jerk.
Finally laying my finger aside of my nose
And giving a nod, determined I rose.
I sprung from my couch, to the kids gave a whistle,
And away they all flew with hugs devoid of a bristle.
And I heard them exclaim, ere they ran out of sight –
“Merry Christmas to all, and let us all in great books delight!”
*Adapted from the original Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore