Twas the night before Christmas story:

Twas the night before Christmas,

When all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring,

Not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung

By the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas

soon would be there.

The children were nestled

all sung in their beds,

While visions of sugarplums

Danced in their heads;

And Mama in her kerchief,

And I in my cap,

Had just settled down

for a long winter’s nap

When out on the lawn

there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed

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 luster 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 St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles

his coursers they came,

and he whistled, and shouted,

and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer!

Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, comet! On, Cupid!

On, Donder and Blitzen!”

“To the top of the porch!

To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away!

Dash away all!”

So up to the housetop

The coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys,

and St. 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

St. Nicholas came

with abound.

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 checks were like roses,

His nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth

was drawn up like a bow,

and the beard on 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 bowl full 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 stocking,

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 the thistle.

But I heard him exclaim,

Ere he drove outsight

“Merry Christmas to all,

And to all a good night!”

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