Mary Beth's Fantasy - T'was The Night Before Christmas

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 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or a visit from my sister)
with my apologies to Clement Clarke Moore


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
every room was empty, not even a mouse.
My sister's stockings were draped with great care,
in search of her panties I knew would be there.

Her best little dress was laying on her bed,
while visions of ruffles danced in my head.
And white patent shoes now closed with a strap,
the bra would be next, it closed with a snap.

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from her bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the closet I flew like a flash,
grabbing her clothes, hiding my stash.

 My parents? My sister? Not trapped in the snow,
no where to hide, no where to go!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but my sister behind me, and a "hello my dear!".
With a devious smile, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment she wasn't St. Nick.

Her costume she gathered and did so with a twirl
She was baby in a play, and worse a baby girl.
More rapid than eagles, her movements they came,
and she whistled and shouted and called things by name:

"Now diapers, then plastic, with powder and pins
Oh, brother, as a boy, you've come to an end.
You'll cherish this moment, now quick on the bed
I'll diaper you first then a bonnet for your head.

I lifted my bottom and started to cry
my feet now above me pointing up to the sky.
A diaper too thick, baby pants almost new,
with a smile on her face, and a giggle or two.

And then, in a twinkling, I was a baby again
smelling of powder, secure in pink pins.
As I opened my eyes, and turned just to see,
sis held out a slip meant clearly for me.

 I was every bit a sissy, from head now to feet,
my clothes were all shimmery with ruffles on my seat.
A bundle of ribbons she drew from a rack,
tying my hands front now to back.

 Her eyes--how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her prissy little mouth was drawn up in a smile,
and the ribbon she used seemed nearly a mile.

The pacifier I held now tight in my teeth,
and pink ribbon to hold it circled like a wreath.
I had a puffy bottom, like that Tubby on the telly,
and my diapers rolled like a bowl full of jelly.

I was chubby and plump, a right prissy little elf,
and I laughed when I saw me, in spite of myself.
A wink of her eyes, and a twist of her head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
and fluffed on my dress, to finish with my skirt.
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
two more petticoats then, and under they rose.

She sprang to her bed, giving me a little pat,
And to her I walked on shoes, tap tap tap.
Then I heard her exclaim, 'ere she smiled at my plight,

"Happy Christmas to all,
and to my baby a good night!"

With Literary License By
Mary Beth Sanford


A Brief Note about the Author and the Poem
Clement Clarke Moore's famous poem, which he named "A Visit From St. Nicholas," was published for the first time on December 23, 1823 by a New York newspaper, the Sentinel. Since then, the poem has been reprinted, translated into innumerable languages and circulated throughout the world.

Clement Clarke Moore was born in 1779 to a well-known New York family. His father, Reverend Benjamin Moore, was president of (what is now) Columbia University and was the Episcopal Bishop of New York. Moore's father also participated in George Washington's first inauguration and gave last rites to Alexander Hamilton after Hamilton was mortally wounded in an 1804 duel with Aaron Burr. Moore himself was an author, a noted Hebrew scholar, spoke five languages, and was an early real-estate owner and developer in Manhattan.

Despite his accomplishments, Clement Clarke Moore is remembered only for "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," which legend says he wrote on Christmas Eve in 1822 during a sleigh ride home from Greenwich Village after buying a turkey for his family. Some say the inspiration for Moore's pot-bellied St. Nicholas was the chubby, bewhiskered Dutchman who drove Moore to Greenwich Village to buy his holiday turkey. Moore never copyrighted his poem, and only claimed as his own over a decade after it was first made public.

Moore read the poem to his wife and six children the night he wrote it, and supposedly thought no more about it. But a family friend heard about it and submitted the poem to the Sentinel, a newspaper in upstate New York, which published it anonymously the following Christmas. Moore's poem immediately caught the attention and imagination of the state, then the nation, and then the world. Finally, in 1844, he included it in a book of his poetry. Moore died in 1863 and is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery in lower Manhattan, New York.

Because of his "mere trifle," as he called it, 175 years ago Clement Clarke Moore almost single-handedly defined our now timeless image of Santa Claus. [top]


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