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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's 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 lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
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 porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that 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 toys, 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 hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had 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 pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old 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 filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team 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, and to all a good-night!"
THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
'Twas the day after Christmas when Santa returned
As there was a small thing that he wanted to learn:
How his former short visit affected them all!
He wished to see people just having a ball.
He looked at each window in one vivid town...
But his chipper mood died and he wore a grave frown.
He saw no high spirits, not one celebration -
Those people were NOT full of Christmas elation.
They sat in each home with their faces all gray,
And stared at their Wiis and their iPhones all day.
The zombified children gaped blankly and drooled
While playing the new Candy Crush or Bejeweled.
They saw pets on Youtube (neglecting their own);
Each finger ran furiously on a phone...
This horror was harming their bodies and minds
And their dolls and hobbies were now left behind!
St. Nick had enough! He was mad, mad as hell!
He rushed to his workshop and, furious, yelled:
"Just what are those hellish machines you call 'toys'?
It hurts the poor kids! You're supposed to bring joy!
"From now on, the dang things that whiff of high-tech
Shall just go through me, for a personal check.
I'll fix this phenomenon once and for all..."
But Santa was wrong. This was not a good call.
When he used one iPhone, he was really hooked!
He sat gaping at Kindles with Stephen King books;
He Tweeted and Flickred well into the night
And Instagrammed selfies in chic black-and-white.
After many months, Christmas was nigh yet again -
But Santa still hadn't come out of his den!
His worried elves knew Santa had to be weaned:
It was time to unplug him from all his machines.
They tied him with sashes and one fluffy bow
While Santa was shaking there from head to toe;
They had him drink milk until they were all sure
That Santa, their hero, was finally cured.
But he had an idea! Oh, he wasn't quite through.
"My dear elves", he said, "there's one thing I should do."
He showed them the mainframes he wanted to hack
And then he commanded which ones to attack:
"Now Samsung! Now Sony! Now Apple! Now Dell!
Now LG and Nokia! Now AOL!
Upload all those viruses! Knock the lines down!
It is high time we took out the techies in town!"
And it worked! Everybody then shouted "Hurray"...
And something unusual happened that day.
With no wi-fi available in the whole place,
People actually started to talk FACE TO FACE!
The kids walked outside for the first time in days
Then, lo and behold - THEY ALL STARTED TO PLAY!
They ran in the parks, throwing snowballs with glee -
In short, they were being what children should be.
Now Santa was chuffed to the hundredth degree:
Both this town and himself were completely tech-free.
There was no single hellish device in his base...
Except for his iPad. You know, just in case.