To Friends Old and New…

And especially to those on distant shores…

A little something to stir up fond memories, and offer warmth to cold and lonely corners…

Much love, and continued blessings for the year to come…

Brooke

‘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 snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma 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 lustre of mid-day 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!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top 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 hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

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 cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of 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 bowlful 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 stockings; 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 a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

7 Responses to “To Friends Old and New…”

  1. Delia says:

    WHAT SHALL WE GIVE THE CHILDREN?

    In the long twilight of the
    year, the faces of the children grow luminous.
    Rosy with cold, arabesqued
    with snowflakes, leaning into the wind, or drowsing
    before the fire, their eyes large, they
    look and listen, as if they glimpsed the peripheries of miracle
    or heard a soundless music in the air. From the innocent
    kingdom of implicit belief to that uncomfortable
    arena where the implacable mind battles the
    intractable heart, the
    faces of children at Christmas are lighted
    with visions of things to come.
    WHAT SHALL WE GIVE THE CHILDREN?

    It seems certain that they will travel roads
    we never thought of, navigate strange seas, cross
    unimagined boundaries, and glimpse horizons beyond our power
    to visualize. What can we give them to take
    along? For the wild shores of Beyond, no toy or
    bauble will do. It must be something more, constructed
    of stouter fabric discovered among the
    cluttered aisles and tinsled bargain counters of experience,
    winnowed from what little we have
    learned. It must be devised of responsibility
    and profound caring — a homemade
    present of selfless love. Everything changes but
    the landscape of the heart.
    WHAT SHALL WE GIVE THE CHILDREN?

    Attention, for one day it will be too late.
    A sense of value, the inalienable place of the individual
    in the scheme of things, with all
    that accrues to the individual — self-reliance,
    courage, conviction, self-respect, and respect for others.
    A sense of humour. Laughter leavens life.
    The meaning of discipline. If we falter at discipline
    life will do it for us.
    The will to work. Satisfying work is the lasting joy.
    The talent for sharing, for it is not so much
    what we give as what we share.
    The love of justice. Justice is the bulwark against violence
    and oppression and the repository of human dignity.
    The passion for truth, founded on precept and example.
    Truth is the beginning of every good thing.
    The power of faith, engendered in mutual trust. Life without
    faith is a dismal, dead-end street.
    The beacon of hope, which lights all darkness.
    The knowledge of being loved beyond demand or
    reciprocity, praise or blame, for those so
    loved are never lost.
    WHAT SHALL WE GIVE THE CHILDREN?

    The open sky, the brown earth, the leafy tree, the golden
    sand, the blue water, the stars in their courses
    and the awareness of these. Birdsong, butterflies, clouds, and
    rainbows. Sunlight, moonlight, firelight.
    A large hand reaching down for a small hand, impromptu
    praise, an unexpected kiss, a straight answer.
    The glisten of enthusiasm and a sense of wonder. Long days
    to be merry in and nights without fear.
    The memory of a good home.

    Author Unknown
    ca 1962

  2. BigJacT says:

    Wait,

    Isn’t it Merry Christmas?

  3. admin says:

    British version is ‘Happy Christmas’, t’would seem :)

  4. tobias says:

    there are extraordinarily cheesy posters up around Berlin for a seasonal musical performance by a singer that goes by the name ‘Mary Christmas’.

    I am not making this up.

  5. neelo says:

    Monty Python would have a field day!! You gorra luv’ em!!! Festive cheers brethren(and sisters)!

  6. Bo says:

    Hey I think this is the greatest thing since you invented sliced bread like in 1998. And the museum piece you created is still stunning. … Digged! +1

Leave a Reply for tobias