'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the gloom, Not a creature was stirring - there just wasn't room; The stockings were hanging in numbers so great,
We feared that the walls would collapse from the weight!
The children like cattle were packed off to bed,
We took a quick count - there were three-hundred head;
Not to mention the grown-ups - those hundreds of dozens
Of uncles and in laws and twice-removed cousins!
When outside the house there arose such a din!
I wanted to look, but the mob held me in;
With pushing and shoving and cursing out loud,
In forty-five minutes, I squeezed through the crowd!
Outside on the lawn, I could see a fresh snow
Had covered the people asleep down below;
And up in the sky, what should strangely appear
But an overweight sleigh pulled by countless reindeer!
They pulled and they tugged and they wheezed as they came,
And the red-suited driver called each one by name:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!"
"Now, Melvin! Now, Marvin! Now, Albert and Jasper!
On, Sidney! On, Seymour! On Harvey and Casper!
Now, Clifford! Now, Max!" - but he stopped, far from through;
Our welcoming house-top was coming in view!
Direct to our house-top the reindeer then sped
With a sleigh full of toys and St. Nick at the head;
And then like an earthquake, I heard at the roof
The clomping and pounding of each noisy hoof!
Before I could holler a warning of doom,
The whole aggregation fell into the room;
And under a mountain of plaster and brick
Mingled in-laws and reindeer and me and St. Nick.
He panted and sighed, like a man who was weary;
His shoulders were stooped and his outlook was dreary.
"I'm way behind schedule," he said with a sigh,
"And I've been on the road since the first of July!"
'Twas then that I noticed the great, monstrous sack
Which he barely could hold on his poor, creaking back.
"Confound it!" he moaned - "Though my bag's full of toys,
I'm engulfed by the birthrate of new girls and boys!"
Then, filling the stockings, he shook his sad face:
"This job is a killer! I can't take the pace!
This cluttered old world is beyond my control;
There even are millions up at the North Pole!"
"Now I'm late!" he exclaimed, "and I really must hurry -
By now I should be over Joplin, Missouri!"
But he managed to sigh as he drove out of sight:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"