The Night Before Christmas
A Special Victoria-Adventure Adaptation
by Alan Montour

Image by Alan Montour

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

Some children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of aquatic creatures danced in their heads;
And women in their kerchiefs, and men in their caps,
Had just settled down for a short winter's nap,

When out on the lawns there arose such a clatter,
we sprang from the couches to see what was the matter.
Away to the window we flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of shimmering waters glowed,
Gave the lustre of mid-day sun to objects below,
When what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a smile-filled sleigh, and eight tiny whitetailed deer,

With little drivers, so lively and quick,
We knew in a moment it must be St. Victoria-Adventure in a click.
More rapid than eagles the coursers they came,
And a whistle, and a shout, they called them by name;

"Now, Amazonica ! now, Adventure ! now Atlantis ! , now Columbia !
On, Cruziana ! on Longwood ! on, Challenger and Discovery too !"

To the side of the ponds! To the top of the waterfalls!
Now splash away! splash away! splash away all!"

As the dry leaves flew and the wild hurricanes roared,
met with an obstacle or two ,
So many eyes peered to the skies as they soared.
So up to the ponds the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of pond supplies, and St. Victoria-Adventure too.

And then, in an inkling, we heard in our ponds
The budding and scratching of each little thorns.
As we withdrew our hands, and were turning around,
Down the chimney St. Victoria-Adventure came with a bound.

Dressed all in a tan, from head to foot,
And swimwear all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of pond info was flung on their backs,
looked like two Angels so caring and giving, opening up their packs.

Their eyes -- how they twinkled! Their dimples ... how merry!
Their cheeks were like roses, their noses like cherries!
Their droll little mouths drawn up into holiday bows,
And a beard on ones chin was as white as winter's snow;

The shape of a pot they held tight in their teeth,
And the ash it encircled their heads like a Christmas wreath;
They each had a shimmering face and a little round dish,
That shook, when they laughed like a bowlful of Goldfish.

We are a right jolly bunch of elfs,And we laughed when we saw them, in spite of ourselves;A wink of their eyes and a twist of their heads,Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread;They spoke not a word, but went straight to do their work,And filled all the stockings; then turned quickly with such a jerk,And laying a finger aside of their nose, with a winkand giving a nod, up the chimney they rose;They sprang to this sleigh, to this team they gave a whistle,And away they all flew like the down of thistle. But I heard them exclaim, as they drove out of sight,


Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Alan Montour, Maryland Victoria Addict!

and a little help from
Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828)
(previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore)

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