When the relatives arrive for the holidays
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, unless you were the host of the house
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that all the guests would soon be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of visits from cousins danced in their heads,
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a “quick before the relatives arrived “nap
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a mini-van filled with company so dear
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must Step-Uncle Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now! Cousin! Now! Aunt, Now! Niece, and Grandpa,
"On! Nephew! On! Step-Mom! On! Brother-in-Law and Grandma;
"To the top of the driveway! To the top of the porch wall!
"Now move in quickly, quickly move in for a week or two all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of suitcases and Step-Uncle Nick too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little accompanying pet’s hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
In the front door Step-Uncle Nick came with a bound:
He was dressed all in fleece, from his head to his han(d)
And his clothes were all wrinkled from being crammed in the van
A bundle of suitcases was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a beefstick he held tight in his teeth,
And the aroma of it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old relative of an elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And checked the frig for a snack; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, moved to the TV room to repose.
He sprung to his van, to his family gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, We’ll be back Next Year! & to All a good night!