‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a…

Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, ca. 1980

Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, ca. 1980

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

Greenwood children sending letters to Santa, 1915

Greenwood children sending letters to Santa, 1915

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.

Napping with a manatee, ca. 1970

Napping with a manatee, ca. 1970

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.

Connie Gowan and Merrily Costello surprised by Santa, Panama City Beach, 1962

Connie Gowan and Merrily Costello surprised by Santa, Panama City Beach, 1962

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

Eight young ladies surround Santa, St. Petersburg, 1952

Eight young ladies surround Santa, St. Petersburg, 1952

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!

Santa on the beach, Panama City Beach, 1956

Santa with his reindeer on the beach, Panama City Beach, 1956

“Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

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

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

Ringling Circus elephant dressed as "Vixen," Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1963

Ringling Circus elephant dressed as “Vixen,” Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1963

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.

Santa and friends, Sarasota, 1965

Santa and friends, Sarasota, 1965

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.

Santa in front of the Florida Welcome Sign, Jennings, 1956

Santa in front of the Florida Welcome Sign, Jennings, 1956

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!

Santa picking oranges, Sarasota, 1965

Santa picking oranges, Sarasota, 1965

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!”

Christmas Greetings from Florida, ca. 1920

Christmas Greetings from Florida, ca. 1920

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