The Night Before Christmas Revisited

I have adapted Clement C. Moore’s classic poem,
first published on December 23, 1823, to reflect this time of pandemic we live in.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
But outside lurking was the virus, COVID 19;
Ready to make ill, even kill, sight unseen.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of the pandemic danced in their heads,
And Mama in her visor, and I in my mask,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out of my tablet there arose notifications,
I sprang from the bed to see their ramifications.
Away to the tablet I flew like a penguin,
Flipped open the cover and logged in.

The moon on the screen of the message window,
Gave dire warning of the podcast to follow;
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 St. Nick.

Rapid he spoke to his coursers around him so tame.
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
Oh! Comet, oh! Cupid, oh! Dunder and Blixen;
I told you more than once! I told you this last fall!
No toy deliveries! No toy deliveries! That’s all!”

As truth of the matter sunk in, they began to sigh,
For what they wanted most was mount to the sky;
Instead, back to the stable the sleigh they drew,
Empty of Christmas toys and St. Nicholas too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the speakers
COVID advisories sounding bleaker and bleaker.
I held my head to not let them get me down,
But then St. Nicholas reappeared with a bound.

He was dressed in a hazmat, from his head to his foot,
His red clothes all covered and ready to stay put;
A bundle of PPEs was flung on his back
And he looked like a paramedic just opening his pack:
His eyes – how they squinted! His dimples how harried,
His cheeks were red, his nose like a cherry;
His grim little mouth was drawn down like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as snow;
He suppressed his smile with a grin of his teeth,
As the hazmat hood encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly
Just like I’d seen when he spoke on the telly:
He was busy, not a grump, but a concerned old elf,
And I sympathized 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,
Loading his sleigh full of meds and vaccines with a twerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, onto his sleigh he rose.

He called to his team and gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like a guided missile:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
“We’ll beat the virus starting this Christmas night
For a Happy Christmas next year after we win the fight!
Until then, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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