On the Beat 12/1/15

’Twas the night before Christmas in the Bucher house

By Jim Bucher

“’Twas the Night Before Christmas” is a holiday classic. Even in 2015, it’s the tradition in many, many families to read the poem every Christmas season, especially Dec. 24.
Clement Clarke Moore is the author of this poem, also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” written in 1822.
The poem has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of “’Twas the night before Christmas,” St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeer.
We have Clement Moore to thank for the Santa tradition.
Moore was a shy man, and it’s believed a family friend sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel, which published the poem.
The condition of publication was that the author was to remain anonymous.
The first publication date was Dec. 23, 1823 and it became an immediate hit. It was not until 1844 that Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry.
From then on, it’s been read tens of millions of times the world over, but better yet, it’s been parodied just as much in every way, shape and form.
And now, yours truly will have a go at it.
So, with apologies to Clement, here is the “Buch” edition of his holiday classic:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Bucher house
Not a creature was stirring, except three cats, a dog—everything but a mouse.
The stockings (in our case socks) were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The teens were Snapchatting all snug in their beds,
While visions of new mobile devices danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘rollers,’ and I in my Bengals cap
Had just settled our brains for at least a three-hour nap.

When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter,
Thought one of our neighbors tripped over our ladder.
Away to the broken window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, where I found someone’s stash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Could not be seen through the clouds because of pollution, you know.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a gigantic sleigh, and some pretty big looking reindeer.

With a big guy in a red suit and not moving too quick,
I knew in a moment and hoped it was St. Nick.
And look, they’re the reindeer who looked really tame,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On Comet, on Cupid, on Donder and Blitzen!”
To the top of the porch to the top of the wall!
…Would be a hell of a mess if they’d happen to fall.

So, up to the house-top, the reindeer they flew,
With the sleigh full of iPads, TV’s, oh, and St. Nicholas, too.
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof—
All I could think is “Be careful, that’s a new roof.”

Just in case, I grabbed my conceal-carry and was turning around,
When down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from head to toe
and came down the chimney yelling, “Look out below!”

His eyes—how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, maybe too much cooking sherry.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
No wait it’s a vape cig that blew smoke in the shape of a wreath.

He had a broad face and a pretty big gut.
“Santa needs ‘Weight Watchers,’” I said. “Just look at his butt!”
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
“I should look in the mirror,” I said to myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Put my piece away—I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.
And filled all the socks—I swear he called me a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
He said, “I’m too fat,” so out the front door he goes.
He climbed on his sleigh to his team said, “Let’s go!”
Santa’s words seemed slurry, and he spoke sorta slow.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and your stash is all right.”

Cheers and happy holidays!
Buch

For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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