Twas the night before Christmas, when all through NPF’s pad
Not a volunteer was stirring, not even a tad.
The stockings were hung on the mid-century mantle with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
110 NPF members were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of restored homes danced in their heads.
And Michelle with her scotch, and Michael with his favorite nightcap,
Had just settled down for a swell winter’s nap.
When out on the xeriscape there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the metal window they flew in an instant,
Tore open the pinch pleats and flung open the casement.
The moon on the breast of the pool down below
Gave the yard’s river rock the shimmer of an atomic glow.
When, what to their eyeballing should appear,
But a fab sleigh, and eight swanky reindeer.
With a big daddy driver, so far out and hip,
They knew in a flash it must be St Nick.
More rapid than a 1956 Golden Hawk his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Jeff! now, Misty! now, Jack and Jennifer!
On, Clair! On, Rob! On Alicia and Eric!
To the top of the Stone screen! to the top of the palm!
Now goose it! Goose it! Goose it away all!”
As dry fronds that before the wild dust storm fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the butterfly rooftop the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a jiffy, they heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each nifty hoof.
As they drew in their heads, and were turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
This cat was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his threads were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a Wear Ever salesman, just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as something called snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a totally unreal old elf,
And they laughed when they saw him, in spite of themselves!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave them to know they had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but with his gig went to 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!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a green light,
And away they all screamed flat out into the night.
But I heard him howl, as he punched it out of sight,
“Far out Christmas to all, and to all a Good-Night!”