T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the yard, Not a plant was a stirring, the ground was rock hard. The tools were hung in the shed with some care, Battered and dirty and showing much wear. The bulbs were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of springtime danced in their heads. I in my sweats and my husband with our cat, Had just settled down for a long winter's chat. When out in the yard there arose such a clatter, I dropped my seed catalogues to see what was the matter. Away to the door I ran with all haste, Flung it wide open and stood as though braced. The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below. In the yard there were gifts and palm fronds strewn about, While up from above there came a faint shout. I looked to the sky and what to my wondering eyes should I see, But a sleigh and eight reindeer stuck in the palm tree. The little old driver all dressed in red, Was looking around and holding his head. As we stared and we pondered on setting him free, He smiled and he called “next year will you light it up for me?” But, before we could act, he picked up the reins, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen, "On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donner and Blitzen; "To the top of the trellis! to the top of the wall! "Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As dry leaves before the hurricane fly, They rose from the crown and took to the sky. So up to the house-top his coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of gifts and St. Nicholas too. And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, with wellies on his feet, And the poinsettia in his cap made him look oh so neat. A bundle of gifts was flung on his back, And peeking from within, was that a lilac? With a wave of his hand a Corsican rose had appeared, The wink of an eye conveyed he was not to be feared. He stood up quite quickly and got straight to his task, Unloading his sack with all I had asked. A composter and pruner and hardscaping books for us all. And for the fish pond a floating light ball. There was topsoil and fertilizer and a hibiscus in pink, He even tossed in a navigational light that would blink. In a matter of moments his job was complete, And he rose up the chimney which I thought quite a feat. We rushed out the door without boots or a coat, To stand in the snow, my husband still clutched the remote. As the jolly old elf sprung into his sleigh, I knew in a moment he would soon be away. He picked up the reins and to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew, like the seeds of globe thistle. But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight- Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! HOE! HOE! HOE!