Twas the Night Before Christmas……

Happy Christmas Eve!!!  I sincerely hope you enjoy this bit of Christmas nostalgia!  I had not realized there was actually a controversy over who authored it!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

This is one of the of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,”  It 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.  It is also referred to as “A Visit From St. Nicholas” or “The Night Before Christmas.”
Below are the original lyrics to the poem (see how the poem looked in the Troy Sentinel here):
1 ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
2 Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
3 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
4 In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
5 The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
6 While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
7 And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
8 Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap-
9 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
10 I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
11 Away to the window I flew like a flash,
12 Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
13 The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
14 Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
15 When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
16 But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
17 With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
18 I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
19 More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
20 And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
21 “Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
22 “On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
23 “To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
24 “Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
25 As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
26 When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
27 So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
28 With the sleigh full of Toys – and St. Nicholas too:
29 And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
30 The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
31 As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
32 Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
33 He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
34 And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
35 A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
36 And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
37 His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
38 His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
39 His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
40 And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
41 The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
42 And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
43 He had a broad face, and a little round belly
44 That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
45 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
46 And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
47 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
48 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
49 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
50 And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
51 And laying his finger aside of his nose
52 And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
53 He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
54 And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
55 But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
56 Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

El Nino Cometh: Thoughts on how to prepare

Yup, winter has finally arrived!!!  For many it is not that big a change. However, with the daunting ‘El Nino’ prophesy, there is much to consider. We are being told to check our homes for leaks and standing water.  It is recommended we stock up on the essentials, “Just in case”. With a new baby in your life this can sound pretty scary.  You want to be a responsible parent.  You need to do all you can to prepare….but what does that really mean?

You probably have a pretty good idea of what your needs were before baby. So store up what you need for say a week for each of your previous family members.  The suggestion is, in a pinch, 1 gallon of water a day per person, easily prepared cold meals (you know how much each of you would need), canned fruits, meats, or juices.  Remember, it is a good possibility there will be no electricity or gas for a time.  This means no refrigeration, no gas stove or heating.  If baby is being breastfed food is taken care of.  But be sure to have extra water and protein for mommy.  Also, do all you can to help mommy remain as calm and rested as possible.  Remember, “A calm mother is the first step to good breastfeeding”.

If there is an emergency we can probably kiss laundry washing good-by. So do not throw away those baby clothes the minute your newbie grows out of them.  They will do in a pinch.  You do not want to over buy on clothing as babies grow out of so many things before they even get to wear them.  But keeping a few things around a bit longer might come in handy.  Keep an extra large package of diapers and wipes available in the garage, or wherever. Go buy new packages when you still have a good supply.  This is simply thinking ahead.

Plan ahead on your supply of prenatal vitamins, or any meds you or other family members might be taking.  Talk with neighbors about what equipment they have that might help out in a disaster.  Talk to your city organizations created to help in these situations.

“Forewarned is forearmed”, applies here!

Below are some websites offering pertinent information on how to prepare with infants in mind.

Click to access Checklists09_PRINT.pdf

Click to access Checklists09_PRINT.pdf






Click to access Checklists09_PRINT.pdf

Click to access Checklists09_PRINT.pdf