Editor’s note: It’s a yearly tradition for us to bring you our version of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” You might know this classic Christmas poem as “The Night Before Christmas.” Either way, ours is just a little bit different. Rather than visit a house, jolly ol’ St. Nick visits a yacht (of course!). Readers like you enjoyed our poem so much when we first pubished it that we decided to bring it back year after year, though with new artwork each time and a few sstory updates every so often. (Thanks to the stunning Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the photo here, an extraordinary gingerbread boat.) Just as yachts need refits, so, too, do journalistic creations. We hope you enjoy it.
From our homes to yours, we wish you a very happy and healthy holiday celebration!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the decks
Not a crewmember was moving, not even their necks;
The stockings were hung by the transom with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The guests were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of SeaBobs danced in their heads;
And the chief stew in her ‘kerchief, and the captain in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the water there arose such a clatter,
The captain sprang from his berth to see what was the matter.
Away to the wheelhouse he flew like a flash,
Grabbed the binoculars as he ran past the dash.
The moon on the surface of the new-moistened sand,
Gave a luster of midday to objects at hand,
When what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
The captain knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than dolphins 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, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the mast! to the top of the seawall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up past the FunSlide the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, the captain heard on the sundeck roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As the captain ran down the crew stairs, and was turning around,
Through the saloon doors St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed in beachwear, from his head to his foot,
But quickly removed his flip flops to stand there barefoot;
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 on 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 bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And the captain laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave the captain to know he had nothing to dread;
St. Nick 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, off the swim platform 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 the captain heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”