Category Archives: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

A Christmas Picture Book…for Moms!



My writer friend, Ann Whitford Paul, has put on her take-charge hat and has published her own children’s book. Ann is already traditionally published, but she had a story she wanted to tell about Christmas, and found an artist to illustrate it. My signed copy arrived in the mail yesterday and I wanted to share it with you.

This is a story about a mother who’s been through the Christmas hurricane, and is dreading cleaning up the mess left behind by her kids. She is saved by …hey, I don’t want to give it away!

The book starts off:

‘Twas the late night of Christmas,

when all through the house

everyone was exhausted, even the mouse.

It’s not so much a kids book, but a mommy book. It would make a great gift to your girlfriend or sister-in-law, or a husband to his wife, to acknowledge the trials of Christmas and assure her not to worry, that all will be taken care of.

To order a copy from Barnes & Noble, go to this link.

Also, you can follow Mrs. Saint Nick’s ideas for a stress-free Christmas here.

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.” 


Perfect Gift for Sick People on Your List


With the H1N1 flu merrily spreading its holiday cheer this season, The Night Before the Night Before Christmas may be just what the doctor ordered.

The story begins:
‘Twas the night before
the night before Christmas
with too much to do.
Our tree wasn’t up yet
and Mom had the flu.

The family has procrastinated and is now trying to finish their holiday traditions before the BIG DAY arrives. Anyone who’s been sick before Christmas can relate to this story. The illustrations by Mike Lester are frantically funny, and all is well at the end when Dad reads the kids a Christmas classic, The Night Before Christmas.

For the cost of a card, you can send your feverish family or friend this book, which might become a new tradition in their household. At the very least, they’ll appreciate your sense of humor.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Ballet


As an appreciator of the classic Christmas story which was the impetus of my paperback series, I am excited to see ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas performed as a ballet. Dance Class is putting on two shows this Sunday at Humboldt State University’s Van Duzer Theater. According to the preview article, a ballerina, a pirate king and toys will come to life on a delightfully new take on what happened one Christmas eve, and promised not to be another “The Nutcracker.”

If you live in Humboldt County – and you missed the article in the Times-Standard – tickets are only $8 for adults and $6 for kids and seniors. I purchased mine at Mosgo’s Coffeehouse in Arcata, but they’re also for sale at the door.

I don’t know about you, but Christmas seemed to have snuck up on me – our lights aren’t even strung yet – so I’m hoping this will boost my holiday spirit (or else I’m going to have to drink more spiked egg nog!)

Personally, I wish someone would do a play of The Night Before the Night Before Christmas and perform it on December 23 so that all the procrastinators will have a really good excuse why they aren’t out shopping or baking cookies. But I’m sure this ballet will be the next best thing.