The Holiday Horror: The Dark Before Christmas

‘Twas the dark before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was peaceful, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that the children for whom they were, would be there
The parents were nestled, restless in their beds;
While visions of horrors danced in their heads;
And Ava in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Tried to settle our brains for a long winter’s nap,

Our children were gone, and so were our peers’,

We could only hope they’d be found, and brought back here,

Children and toys were vanishing left and right,

But that’s not all that had given us fright

We’d heard things, and seen things that we thought were dreams,

The snowmonster, the living dolls, were fake, or so it had seemed,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my 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 a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a man in a red suit, and the children! The dears,
They were bruised, scarred, and dirty as the man,

We thought they’d try to run if they can,

But they didn’t, they stood there, staring at us,

I looked at the man, and dirty he was,

He was lopsided, stumbling, clearly drunk,

And was holding a bag, full of broken, dirty junk,

And with with coat, red but covered in ick
I knew in a moment he looked like St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his servants they charged,
And he hollered, and shouted, Just like a sarge:
“Now, You! now, you! now brat and urchin!
On, spoiled! on, scamp! on, monster and demon!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So in to the front door the children they flew
With the sack full of souls, and the man too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the porch
The lighting and igniting of each little torch.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Into the house they came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fleece, from the trim to the seam,
And his clothes all were stained with vomit and cream;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they burned! his beard, how dirty!
His beard was like carpet, his face scowling and shirty!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was nothing good to show;
The neck of a flask he held tight in his mouth,
And the smoke, it surrounded, but he was still very couth
He had a stern face and a terrible aura
That shewed that he was a definite horror.
He was chubby and plump, a right scary old chap,
And I screamed when I saw him, and dropped my cap;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had all to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And burned all the curtains; then turned with a jerk,
And lifting his finger to beckon,
And giving a nod, the kids turned away I reckon
He sprang to a snowmonster, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all ran like the down of a thistle.

We ran from the house to recap the flames,

We got out all right, but for the children I can’t claim
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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