Dr. Stephen Phinney
Twas The Night Before Christmas Poem: One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as "Twas The Night Before Christmas," was written in the early 19th century. Though its author is disputed, with the poem being attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. over the years, it was definitely first published on Dec. 23, 1823, in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York.
While the global masses have successfully refocused the story of Christmas to a fat old man in a red suit with a supernaturally empowered herd of reindeer to deliver every want and pleasure, we know there is a buried Truth behind this festive holiday.
Every once in a while, I get inspired to write a rendition of poems gone bad. I consider “Twas The Night Before Christmas” one of them. While I respect the artistic work of the writer, my rendition cleans things up a bit. Enjoy!
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRIST-AS-LIFE
Twas the night before Christ-as-Life, when all through the world, Not a creature was stirring, not even the furled. The masses were ignorant of their need for a Savior, In hopes that the Messiah would soon come later.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of deliverance danced in their heads. And mamma in her Tichel, and I in my Yarmulkah, Had just settled down next to my little Menorah.
When out in the stable, 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 stable’s roof glows, Gave the luster of mid-day to a baby below. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a baby was born amid my papa’s reindeer.
With a little old cradle made so soft amid the herd, I knew in a moment it must be the good Shepherd. More rapid than eagles, His angels came, And they sprouted, and shouted, and called Him by name.
"Come forth, our Savior, Christ, and King! We announce our Lord, Deliverer, our Supreme. From eternity past, our future King, Now rescue us all as we burst forth and sing!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, All will confess before He mounts in the sky. So up to the house top His angels they flew, Opening their arms to welcome Him too.
And then, in the twinkling of an eye, I saw others gathering, The shepherds by night, with all their sheep, blathering. As I drew in my breath and was turning around, Down from the heavens, music a bound.
He was dressed in swaddling clothing, from his head to his feet, And his clothes were radiant without an ounce of conceit. A bundle of joy as He laid on His back, And He looked like a Prince ready to clack.
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 Spirit from within as white as snow.
The finger of His mother He held tight as a sheath, And His little face adorned like a glorified wreath. He had broad hands and a little round belly, That was tenderly content as a Holy Angeli.
He was peaceful and slump, a righteous joy Himself, And I marveled when I saw Him, disregarding myself. A Redeemer is born, a crown needed for His head, Soon gave me know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word but cooed like a baby, And awe filled the air like a Heavenly Slaby. And tapping His fingers aside of His mother’s nose, And giving hope for many to claim, He arose.
The angels returned to Heaven, the shepherds back to their land, The little baby Jesus will soon grow into a man. But before I left my window, I could not deny my sight, I shouted, Merry Christ-as-Life to all, and to all Holy Night!”
©2022 | Dr. Stephen R. Phinney | Permission to Print
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