24th December

Advent Calendar: 26 days of Christmas 2020

1. A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas)

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‘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 our brains 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 tinny 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, on Donner 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 head, 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!"

2. The Night Before Christmas (Spanglish Version)

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'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,

not a creature was stirring - ¡Caramba! ¿Qué pasa?

 

Los niños were tucked away in their camas,

some in long underwear, some in pijamas,

while hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado,

in hopes that old Santa would feel obligado,

to bring all children, both buenos and malos,

a nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

 

Outside in the yard there arose un gran grito,

and I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.

I ran to the window and looked out afuera,

and who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero,

came dashing along like a loco bombero.

And pulling his sleigh instead of venados,

were eight little burros approaching volados.

 

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre,

was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:

''Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto, ay Chato, ay Chopo,

Maruco, y Nieto!''

 

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho,

he flew to the top of our very own techo,

with his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,

he struggled to squeeze down our old chimenea.

 

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,

with soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,

he filled all the stockings with lovely regalos,

for none of the ninos had been very malos.

 

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,

he turned like a flash and was gone like the viento,

and I heard him exclaim, y ¡esto es verdad!

 

Merry Christmas to all, ¡y Feliz Navidad!

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