‘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 our brains for a long winter’s nap,
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 luster of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he 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!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
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 up to the housetop 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 head, 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 on 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 bowl full of jelly.
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—
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
As a child, do you remember the magic you used to feel on Christmas Eve? The excitement you felt as you left out cookies and milk and got ready for bed? Then spending the night watching the clock because you just couldn’t wait for the morning?
Sadly, as adults, the magic of the season seems to disappear a little more each year. Santa no longer represents a symbol of joy and Christmas celebrations just seem like another family get-together. Fortunately, that magic does reappear as we have children of our own. Suddenly, our role changes from excited child to excited parent. We spend the night also making preparations and we, too, await Christmas morning so we can watch our kids eagerly open their gifts. We experience a different kind of magic – the magic of giving.
At Lions Pride, we feel so lucky to be in a special kind of role. Although our kids may be grown, we still get to play the role of Santa throughout the year. Each summer, we are able to give special children the gift of experience at Wisconsin Lions Camp. In 2015, over 140 children were given the opportunity to have the week of their lives out in the woods – camping, roasting marshmallows, swimming and enjoying everything nature had to offer. None of this would be possible without the help of you, our donors and supporters.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, thank you for all that you do support the Lions Pride Endowment Fund! We could never accomplish our mission to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects without you.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!