Mrs. Claus’s Version


My friend, Ann Whitford Paul, is a talented children’s book writer and poet. I received this version of The Night Before Christmas in her newsletter and wanted to share it with you. You know me, I appreciate a good twist on the Christmas classic.

T’was the late night of Christmas, when all through the house

everyone was exhausted, even the mouse.

The stockings were empty. They drooped on a chair.

I slumped on the carpet filled with despair

for my children were whining, the girl and the boys, 

complaining already about all their toys.

“My video game sucks.”

“My doll lost her head.”

“Enough! Father shouted and took them to bed.

I dragged myself up and started to clean

the hurricane mess, the worst that I’d seen-

red and green papers smushed in a mound,

cards, boxes and ribbons, tossed all around,

dirty dishes and glasses, pots and pans, too.

“AGGHHHHHHHH!”I screamed like a wicked-witch shrew.

Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I rushed to the door to see what was the matter.

Cloaks of thick snow covered the ground

and the trees stood like kings, icicle crowned.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but a miniature sleigh led by tiny reindeer,

with a little old driver, white-haired and quick,

I knew right away it was Mrs. Saint Nick.

She parked in our yard, clamored out of the sled,

and greeted me with a slight bow of her head.

Then she rushed in the house and poured me sweet tea.

“Your job now is nothing. Just sit and watch me.”

She surveyed all the clutter. Like an angry clerk,

she rolled up her sleeves and went right to work.

She scrubbed all the pans. She washed every plate.

In the blink of an eye she packed up and crated

the boxes and bags. She grunted and groaned

and dusted and swept ’til everything shone.

I gave her a hug, heartfelt and hard,

and walked her back out to her sled in the yard.

I heard her complain ere she drove out of sight,

“My husband has fun on Christmas Eve night,

BUT . . .

I’m forced to follow and set things back right.” 



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