Twas the Night Before Christmas – a modern translation

It was Christmas Eve, and all through the apartment
Everyone was asleep.  Even the rodents that the landlord refused to get exterminated.
Because the dryer was broken, we had hung our wet socks and other laundry near the furnace, (but not the embarrassing items,
as we hoped that Santa Claus would show up).

The kids (who all have ADD) had finally settled down in their beds
Even though I was pretty sure they were just dreaming of their next sugary snack.
My wife and I, in our pajamas,
Had just set the security alarm and hit the hay.

All of a sudden, we heard a suspicious sound outside,
So I jumped out of bed and grabbed my shotgun, expecting the worst.
I ran to the window as quickly as I could,
Cautiously, I parted the curtains and peered through the bars.

The moon glared off of the icy street
Giving a eerie glow to the objects below.
But, what the heck?  Do you know what I saw,
A small sled, and eight small caribou tied to the front.

The old man who was driving could only be described as having more energy than anyone his age had the right to have,
and I realized almost instantly that this must be Santa Claus.
They came quicker than the F-18s I had seen at the air show the previous summer,
And he whistled and yelled at them and called out their names!

“Hey Runner!  Hey Ballerina!  Hey Trotter and Lady Fox!
On Halley, On Valentine’s Cupid, On Donny and High Boy!
Up to the door, and then to the top of the balcony!
Now run away!  Let’s all run away!”

Just like tractors flew in the movie, “Twister”,
These antlered animals weren’t tied to the ground
So they flew to the roof,
With the sled overloaded with all the toys and fat Santa Claus too.

And then, just like that, a noise on the roof
The scraping and scratching of 34 feet.
As I turned from the window,
Santa Claus FELL down the chimney!.(which surprised me, because we don’t have a chimney!)

He was dressed in attire that would have had the animal rights activists fuming,
And the man was filthy with soot and ash.
On his back, he had a bag full of toys…
Making him look like a hobo.

He had a mischievous look in his eyes, but at least he looked happy!
But his nose and cheeks were so red, I suspected he’d had too much to drink.
His mouth held a smirk like the Mona Lisa,
And it was obvious no razor had seen the white hair on his chin in a long time.

Despite the “Thanks For Not Smoking” sign, he had a pipe in his mouth,
And he was chugging out smoke like a choo choo train.
He was quite overweight,
So that his gut wobbled when he laughed!!

Did I say he was overweight?  Well, No!  He was FAT!
I couldn’t help but laugh at him!
But despite his sloven appearance, he only had to give me a look,
And I knew the old kook was harmless enough.

He refused to talk to me, but at least he was giving us stuff!
And crammed our wet socks, and then suddenly turned.
And then snorted something off of his finger up his broad nose,
And with a nod, he jumped up the chimney (which still surprised me, because we don’t have a chimney)!

He fled to his sled and whistled at his team,
And then they took off like dandelion fluff that my kids blow off.
He wouldn’t talk when he was in my place, but now I heard him yell,
“Have a merry Christmas…and get to bed already!  You’re so tired, you’re hallucinating!”


written in 2011, submitted to dVerse OLN in 2014.  Merry Christmas!


17 thoughts on “Twas the Night Before Christmas – a modern translation

  1. Ha.. At least Santa visited the most needy.. it seems that he could install some joy to a family of small means.. love the details and voice of the narrator.. Especially the description of the apartment and coming through the chimney (no chimney) worked for me.

  2. Well, this made me chuckle, Bryan. A delightful pre-Christmas read. Loved the names of the reindeer. Loved the irony of the ‘no smoking sign’ when Santa had a pipe in his mouth! I enjoyed the bit about ‘hallucinating,’ though he was leaving them ‘stuff.’ Lots of cool touches throughout. It will keep me smiling for a while.

  3. This was so fun to read like a child’s bedtime Christmas story ~ Who knows, Santa may be right about our hallucinations, smiles ~

    Wishing you Merry Christmas ~

  4. Oh, Thank You!! Some hilarity for Christmas. This is delightful, Bryan, and gave me a good chuckle.
    Wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas, & see you next year. xVivienne, of OneVoice Poetry

  5. Haha! a ‘Mr Toad wild ride’ of Santa Claus Lore.. and it was fun and brings a smile to me on the last mile of darkest day of Sun..:)

    Santa Claus doesn’t have to make sense.. he just is.. FUN!..:)

    Happy Holidays and a merry red cheeked New Year as well.. always NOW.. As WELL..:)

  6. NOTE…I am ill with a bad virus, & can barely type, so pardon me if I don’t
    comment on your poetics. All of us in the dVerse community enjoy a unique
    fellowship, & I cherish it with all my heart. Wishing you ALL a Merry Christmas
    & may 2015 bring all of us joy.

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