By Dorothy Thompson.
Now the dust has settled on the “Christmas” Whops…. Summer? School? I’m not even sure what we are supposed to call them these days. I thought it might be nice to look into one of the most famous of all Christmas poems.
“A Visit from St. Nicholas” (the poem), also known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” was written by Clement Clarke Moore. He was a writer, an American Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical Learning, at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York City.
He wrote his immortal poem, for his family on Christmas Eve 1822. He never intended that it be published, but a family friend, Miss Harriet Butler, learned of the poem sometime later from Moore’s children. She copied it into her album, and submitted it to the editor of the “Troy (New York) Sentinel” where it made its first appearance in print on December 23, 1823.
Soon, the poem began to be reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs and magazines, with the first appearance in a book in “The New York Book of Poetry edited by Charles Fenno Hoffman, in 1837.
It was not until 1844, however, that Moore himself acknowledged authorship in a volume of his poetry entitled Poems published at the request of his children. One hundred and ninety fours years later it is the most-published, most-read, most-memorized and most-collected book in all of Christmas literature.
Due to the fact that it is one of the most popular Christmas poems ever published, it has been subject to constant parodies over the years.
My favorite of the PC trash is the following, the author titled it “Politically Correct Santa”, you can it read below:
‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck…
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”,
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!
The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened.”
And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football…someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you’ve got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere…even you.
So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth…
“May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.”
Even “Happy Holidays,” is a source of controversy today. No matter what you do, you’re bound to insult somebody, which means that you just can’t win.
Notice: This poem is copyright 1992 by Harvey Ehrlich. It is free to distribute, without changes, as long as this notice remains intact. All follow-ups, requests, comments, questions, distribution rights, etc should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org