Clement Clarke Moore, Thomas Nast Visit from St Nicholas


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse  

(Hey, why is it that in my house there are always MANY creatures stirring as I frantically try to build a doll house, assemble a bike, connect electronics & wrap presents in the wee hours of the morn?  Many paws do not make light of the work.)

I promised myself that I would work on Christmas Eve just long enough to show my client the 4 vacant properties and no more. I could not bring myself to call any Realtor or seller to show their homes on the 24th of December, no matter what the situation or the price. 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Several hours later, I am soooo finished with work, even though I do love my jobs & my clients. I decided that I better send out the holiday card via email that I had carefully designed after much deliberation days ago. I have just been so busy with work that I haven’t had the time to go through my email addresses. Not wanting to miss anyone that is important to me because they have made my life a little nicer this last year, I have put off this time-consuming task. Two hours later, I have compiled my list. Now let’s attach that special card with photos! No problem, I have done this many times before. So I sent out a test copy to me at a different email address and just to make double sure, I even opened it on a different computer using a different server. Whoopee, all is good! So I sent it out to all.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

I go about my personal business relieved that I have accomplished just about everything on my list. I think that now I am able to relax because no one is here snug in their beds except for our creatures including a cat who thinks she is a dog. My youngest daughter flew up to Maryland to join her sister & family days ago. My parents & I will get together on Christmas day. Friends are all with their families. Ok, so what do I want to do now? I put on some holiday music from around the world, washed dishes, returned phone calls, cleaned up the house a bit, and reflected on past holidays. For many years, I have had anywhere from 25-50 people in my home throughout Christmas Eve. I always had an Open House policy-come by for any or all of the activities throughout the day or night-appetizers, dinner, dessert, yule log, fun & games. Enough reminiscing, I turned on the TV and found “Fiddler on the Roof” right in the middle of the song, “Traditions”. Hmmm, how ironic.

Suddenly, I remember 2 people who didn’t show up on any of email lists. (One of my goals this year is to combine, organize & label my various email lists. As my youngest daughter said, “Good luck with that one, mom“.) I finally find their addresses & am ready to send out their cards.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature inbox, and eight tiny messages returned with cheer?  

Six friends have received the card & return the sentiments but 2 have received a blank space where the card with photos should have been.  Great. 

 With a little old hard drive, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment I would be sick,
More rapid than eagles to my fingers the letters came ,
And I screamed, and shouted, and called out many bad names!

So I rechecked the outgoing emails, the incoming emails & resent the card in a different way just to find out that it did not make any difference. As responses came in from Africa, the Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand and across the USA, some people received the card & others did not. What’s a girl to do? Ok, so now I look like a clueless dumb blonde who has not mastered the basic use of a computer. Oh, well. I decided that people would understand & appreciate the “thought” of good wishes even when the message was not delivered correctly.  I heard Deepak Chopra in my head saying, “Let it go. Just let it go.”

Trying to let it go, I returned to the TV, and found “It’s a Wonderful Life” playing. Nice.


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The dancing & singing from Fiddler on the Roof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

 I hear Topol again singing “Traditions” with a bound.



Okay, okay, I get it. Traditions are important. Now let me enjoy It’s A Wonderful Life”.

(A cup of hot chocolate & sugar cookies are required for proper viewing of this movie, of course.) Two of my favorite quotes are found towards the end of “It’s A Wonderful Life”. The first one is found on the inside cover of the book Tom Sawyer. Handwritten is, “No man is a failure who has friends-Thanks for the wings. Clarence.” I too believe that one needs friends and wings to navigate through life. Thank goodness, I have many friends who allow me to spread my wings from time to time. My other favorite quote from this movie is one that is overused but still great.  “Teacher says that every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” Ahhhh, life is good. Keep ringing those bells!

Dare I return to my computer to check for more failures? But wait, I am not a failure because I do have friends. Thanks, Clarence.

I now have a broad face and a little round belly,
That shakes when I laugh, like a bowlful of jelly!

I am chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh when I look in the mirror, in spite of myself!
A wink of my eye and a twist of my head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

I sprang back to my bed, to my creatures I gave a whistle,
And away they all flew to the top of my computer with claws like a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, ‘ere they took it out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


(No animals were hurt in the writing of this tale. Just the writer was given a rather large bump as the claws released  the computer on to my head.)


I wish you all the absolute best during the holidays and in the coming New Year!!  Take care & enjoy life!


Clement C. Moore, Thomas Nast A Visit from St Nicholas 1869

Cover of a 1912 edition of the poem, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith