Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Twas the (PC) night before Christmas...

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'Twas the night before Christmas (the 25th of December during the holiday season), when all through the house (abode, since many in the 99 per cent are too poor to live in a house).

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (say, Mickey, who is not frightening to children).

The stockings (leg coverings, "stockings" may be an inappropriate visual image to some readers) were hung by the chimney (a safe distance from the chimney, check your local fire code) with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas (Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christms, Ded Moroz, Hoteiosho, Baba Chaghaloo et al) soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums (sugar-free 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 (equitably shared public parkland) there arose such a clatter (sound that does not violate Noise Abatement Bylaw 324),

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 (chest) 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 (free-range) reindeer

With a little (vertically challenged) old (senior) driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick (see above for multicultural appelations).

More rapid than eagles his coursers (unfairly assumes knowledge of old English, therefore: a fast-running horse-like creature) they came,

And he whistled, and shouted (spoke respectfully), and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen (Vivian, as Vixen carries with it negative connotations)!

On, Comet! On, Cupid (Cindy, as Cupid connotes nude babies bearing weapons)! on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now (please) dash away! (Please) Dash away! (Please) 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 (horse-like creatures) they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys (made from recyclables or renewable resources), and St. Nicholas (see above) too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the (green and solar-panel equipped) roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas (see above) came with a bound.

He was dressed all in (fake) 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 (person, peddler is insulting to ultra-small-business retailers), just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses (carnations, which are thornless), his nose like a cherry (as a result of hypoallergenic makeup, as opposed to alcohol or sunburn)!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white (Euro-American) as the snow.

The stump of a pipe (tree) he held tight in his teeth (gloved hand),

And the smoke (greenhouse gas, against which the tree can no longer fight because it was thoughtlessly cut down) it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly (taut rack of abdominal muscles shaped through consistent exercise and proper diet),

That shook (rippled) when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly (steel)!

He was chubby and plump (fit and trim), a right (left) jolly old (senior) elf (little person),

And I laughed (with him, not about him) when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A (non-harassing) 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 (leg coverings), then turned with a jerk (annoying person, oh wait, ignore that one).

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose (carnation, see above)!


He sprang to his sleigh, to his team (partners or colleagues) gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a(n) (organic) thistle.

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

"Happy Christmas (Happy holidays) to all (except those who choose not to be holiday-season positive), and to all a good night!"

-- National Post

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 23, 2012 A8

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