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Twas The Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore

The Christmas Cat

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

The Twelve Days of Christmas



Twas The Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

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 down for a long winter's nap,

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.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

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;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

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.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler 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 the 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.

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He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

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;

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,

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The Christmas Cat

from Iceland


There is a legend, that is 100-200 years old, which says that unless you get at least one new garment to wear for Christmas you "get caught by the Christmas Cat" or "dress the Christmas Cat" as the saying goes. The Christmas Cat was supposed to be some kind of a monster that originally came from the other nordic countries. But still today we talk about it and make sure that everyone has something new to wear on Christmas otherwise you'll get caught. To give you a better picture of the Cat I translated an icelandic poem about this kitty (you''ll have to forgive me but I didn't make it rhyme - I'm not much of a poet).

    The Christmas Cat

    You all know the Cristmas Cat
    And that Cat was huge indeed.
    People didn't know where he came from
    Or where he went.

    He opened his glaring eyes wide,
    The two of them glowing bright.
    It took a really brave man
    To look straight into them.

    His whiskers, sharp as bristles,
    His back arched up high.
    And the claws of his hairy paws
    Were a terrible sight.
    He gave a wave of his strong tail,
    He jumped and he clawed and he hissed.
    Sometimes up in the valley,
    Sometimes down by the shore.

    He roamed at large, hungry and evil
    In the freezing Christmas snow.
    In every home
    People shuddered at his name.

    If one heard a pittiful "meow"
    Something evil would happen soon.
    Everybody knew he hunted men
    But didn't care for mice.

    He picked on the very poor
    That no new garments got
    For Christmas - who toiled
    And lived in dire need.

    From them he took in one fell swoop
    Their whole Christmas dinner
    Always eating it himself
    If he possibly could.

    Hence it was that the women
    At their spinning-wheels sat
    Spinning a colorful thread
    For a frock or a little sock.

    Because you mustn't let the Cat
    Get hold of the little children.
    They had to get something new to wear
    From the grownups each year.

    And when the lights came on, on Christmas eve
    And the Cat peered in,
    The little children stood rosy and proud
    All dressed up in their new clothes.

    Some had gotten an apron
    And some had gotten shoes
    Or something that was needed
    - That was all it took.

    For all who got something new to wear
    Stayed out of that pussy-cat's grasp
    He then gave an awful hiss
    But went on his way.

    Whether he still exsists I do not know.
    But his visit would be in vain
    If next time everybody
    Got something new to wear.

    Now you might be thinking of helping
    Where help is needed most.
    Perhaps you'll find some children
    That have nothing at all.

    Perhaps searching for those
    That live in a light-less world
    Will give you a happy day
    And a merry merry Christmas.
    I hope yours will be a happy one too

    Vignir Jonsson


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Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!


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The Twelve Days of Christmas


On the 1st day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

A partridge in a pear tree

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Two turtle doves

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Three french hens

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Four calling birds

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Five gold rings

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Six geese a-laying

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Seven swans a-swimming

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Eight maids a-milking

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Nine ladies dancing

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Ten lords-a-leaping

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Eleven pipers piping

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Twelve drummers drumming


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!


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