The Night Before Christmas 2011

Published 1:47 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Twas the night before Christmas at Stillmeadow Farm,

As the animals noted the date with alarm.

The hours of darkness were slipping away,

With no sign of Santa – not even a sleigh.

This year's economy was anything but bright,

Could the North Pole's budget also be tight?

Had Santa gone broke, was his debt ceiling breached?

If his funding were cut, we'd never be reached!

Still the goats sat and waited there in the dark,

Watching the roof where Santa would park.

A cold winter moon sent forth its soft glow,

To guide all the creatures waiting below.

The chickens were quiet, the dogs didn't bark,

As the animals waited there in the dark.

Then up in the barn a great clatter I heard,

So I hurried to see what my goats had upturned.

The moon shining bright on the pasture below,

Revealed not one goat – now where did they go?

Not a trace could be found, not even a hoof,

'Til I looked up above – they were all on the roof.

They were harnessed and hitched to a miniature sled,

And the driver was plump and was dressed all in red.

Santa nodded and said as I gazed at the sight,

“I'm borrowing your goats, just for the night.

My budget was cut in the summer last year,

They said I could fly, but without my reindeer!

So I'm doing the best that I can to go on,

Your goats believe in Christmas – the magic's not gone.”

The goats nodded wisely; they each shook their head,

They were honored this night to pull Santa's sled.

As I gazed there in wonder through the air they all flew,

The sleigh full of gifts and St. Nicholas, too.

My goats were transformed as the sleigh Santa steered,

Their beards were all gone, and antlers appeared!

Santa called them by name with a wink and a nod:

Go Heather and Heathcliff; on Claudine and Claude.

Then I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,

“The magic of Christmas will always be bright.

Like stars that shine overhead in the sky,

Love is a gift that money can't buy.”