‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…at Kingwood

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ King’s house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse –

[thank goodness we don’t have mice!]

The stockings were hung by the twelve chimneys with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The peacocks were nestled all snug in their straw beds,
While visions of cat treats danc’d in their heads,

With Juli in her ‘kerchief, and Chuck in his cap,
They had just cleared their desks for a long winter’s nap-

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Jamey sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the windows the staff flew like flashes,

Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sashes.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to the King estate below;

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
We knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

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More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donner and Blitzen;
“To the top of the Greenhouse! To the top of the Exhibit Hall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to Kingwood Hall the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Tulip Bulbs – and St. Nicholas too:

And then in a twinkling, we heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As we drew in our heads, and began turning around,
down the Drawing Room chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;

A bundle of bulbs was flung on his back,
And he look’d 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
[which we had him put out because we don’t want fire in Kingwood Hall]
encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And we laugh’d when we saw him in spite of ourselves;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings with tulip bulbs; then turn’d with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But we heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all our Friends at Kingwood, and to all a good night.

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