This poem has been slightly changed from the version that appeared in print. The original was published in "The Hazelwood West Gazette" on December 19, 1997.

"The Night Before Christmas"


'Twas the night before Christmas at Hazelwood West;
Forgotten by students was all
their school stress,
The T.P. that hung from the tree limbs with care,
And the never-consistent conditioning of air;

My brothers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of goody-bags danced in their heads;

My folks in their Levis, and I in my Gap,
Had settled our brains for a Christmas-break 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 ran like in track,
Tore open the shutters and threw out my back;

The moon on the breast of the plowed, blackened snow
Gave the luster of midnight to objects below;

When, what to my wondering sight should appear,
But the drawers that I lost T.P.ing last year!

With spirit spray paint and bumpers a-draggin',
I recognized that ole "Weggie Wagon."

More rapid than eagles a line of cars came,
The drivers whistled, shouted and called out by name,
"Now freshman! Now sophomores! Now, listen, beware:
We're coming to steal your holiday underwear!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now drive away! Drive away! Drive away all!"

Like missiles, the T.P. was launched to the sky,
By students in car-seats as they drove by;

Up to the house-top, the streamers they flew,
And stuck to the shingles on wet-snowflake glue;

Then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The landing of reindeer, quite heavy a-hoof;

As I pulled in my head and turned right around,
Down through the chimney I heard a strange sound;

It was Santa! He was coming! Or so it would seem;
He emerged from the fireplace, dowsed in shaving cream;

His crimson fur suit and accompanying foam
Were dripping and dropping all over my home;

His eyes-- how they burned!
His dimples inflamed!
His cheeks were so rosy, his nose was the same!
His droll little mouth was bent down in a frown,
As he asked "What's all this clowning around?" "Oh, Santa! Oh, sir!" My reply sounded meek,
"It's Christmas! It's B-ball! It's a new Spirit Week!"

The old elf, he nodded, and explained with a sigh,
"I understand. I'm West alumni!"

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 continued his work,
Filled up the stockings, then turned with a jerk;

Wiping the shaving cream from the side of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a cheer,
And away flew all his T.P.ed reindeer;

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to West! And to West fight, fight, fight!"


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