Monday, December 24, 2007

The Night Before Christmas

Thank goodness for the Internet! Had I not been able to shop via the Internet in the middle of the night, the presents around here would be virtually (no pun intended) non-existent. I am happy to say that all that I ordered arrived safely with no problems. My successful on-line shopping experiences made me realize just how powerful the Internet truly is. This is both comforting and scary. For all the good that can be done on the Web, I know that there is probably an equal amount of ill that can also be done. I am going to stick my head in the sand and ignore that possibility for the moment.

I was trying to think of a "gift" that I could share with all of you that read my musings regularly. Here I must give the gift via the Internet rather than simply shop for it in that manner.. I remembered a piece that I wrote with a few friends ten years ago. I will confess up front that this favors my knitting buddies but hopefully the rest of you will smile a little as you read as well. I hoped that I could still find it somewhere on my computer. I typed the title on the search line. Because I was not paying attention, I actually typed it into Google. Imagine my surprise when it returned several hits. I thought that someone else must have written something with the same title. As you will see, the title itself is not terribly creative. Because I had nothing else to do at midnight, I started following the links. All of them contained the words that we had written. Many of the sites that I found were blog entries that contained many comments. I read those too. "hilarious!", "Wonderful!", "How creative.", "This made me laugh." Interestingly, all of the sites listed the author as the famous Unknown. For this, I guess I am thankful. I suppose it is better that there is no attribute than that is credited wrongly.

We originally wrote this as part of a presentation for a Christmas program for the Dallas Handknitters Guild back in 1997, I think. My friends Betty Kay Seibt, Phyllis Eccleston and I were given the task of entertaining a room full of frantic knitters who were trying to finish all of their handmade Christmas gifts. The piece we wrote was a small part of our overall program. After this guild meeting, it was published in the guild newsletter. From there, someone (not any of us) must have posted it on the Web. It was at this point that A Knitter's Night Before Christmas began its ten year journey in cyberspace.

I am happy that these words have brought smiles to the faces of many knitters over the years. And, I hope that it, like the original from which it is parodied, will become a story read each Christmas Eve. I offer it to all of you now.

A Knitter’s Night Before Christmas

By Kris Elliott, Betty Kay Seibt, and Phyllis Eccleston
for the Dallas Handknitters Guild Christmas Program December 1997

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care.
‘Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds.
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was six inches too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise.
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name that I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move, Froelich--move over!
Paton, don’t circle ‘round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it’s just your first year,
I’d hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard at the door
Santa’s feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned ‘round St. Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe.
And his clothes were handknit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf ‘round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I espied a small label.
"S. C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man.
And I laughed to myself, for I’d thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I’d laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back and drank scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"

I would like to ask a favor. Should you ever run across this again, tell all that you know that the author is not Unknown. You know at least one of us!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.