'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

For we use Craig Thomas to handle all pests

So no infestation, no rodents, no nests.

The stockings were hung by the tree with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Or maybe Paul Rudd, that would work, too;

With treats from his sweetshop for your sweet tooth.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of Stewart's ice cream danced in their heads;

And mamma in her Snuggie, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down from all the last-minute presents we wrapped,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

I ran out in the hall to make sure there was no harm,

But despite the commotion, nothing set off the alarm.

I peered out the window in fear of something malign

But all seemed to be quiet right off of Route 9.

But then, from above, I heard from the roof

What sounded like bells and the prancing of hooves.

I threw on my slippers and my old DCC sweater

Thinking to myself, “This night couldn’t get any better.”

Out to the lawn, holding my bat to my ear,

Which I once got signed by several Yankees one year.

I walked on the grass because it still hadn’t snowed,

But we’ll get hit hard in February, of that, I know.

I looked upon my roof, and what did I see,

But 9 tiny rein-deer all smiling at me.

I saw Dasher! Saw Dancer! Saw Prancer and Vixen!

Twas, Comet! Twas Cupid! And Donner and Blitzen!

And right in the front, wouldn’t you know,

Was Rudolph the Rein-Deer and his shiny red nose!

“What up?” I called, nonchalant in my tone,

When a jolly old man from the sled had arose.

“Are you St. Nick?” I asked him in wonder.

He smiled and laughed with joyous thunder.

“Nah, yeah, it’s me!” He said, and then a snort.

Wouldn’t you know, St. Nick’s from New York!

“Let me tell you, son, my back is hurting like hell!

Do this for 2000 years, you’d be hurting, as well!

I could use a break, but I can’t dilly dally.

I still need to visit the entire Hudson Valley!”

And then a thought appeared in my head,

What if I took over the sled?

“I know this Valley like the back of my hand.

From Kingston to New Paltz, Poughkeepsie to Highland!

Let me drive the slay, and give you a break.

I can be Santa for the Hudson Valley’s sake!”

“Hey, you got spirit and holiday cheer.

I should know, I’ve been watching all year.

Let’s get you into the sleigh, get you all strapped,

And I’ll run inside to take a quick nap.”

So there in the sleigh, I loaded my gear.

I put on the robes while the hat covered my ears.

We flew through the Valley, quickly we rode,

Visiting Saugerties to Beacon, Wappingers to Marlboro.

From the Hudson Highlands to the Catskills, everywhere in between

I visited each house, without being seen.

I was dressed all in fur, from head to foot,

And my clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys I had flung on my back,

I must have looked like a peddler just opening the pack.

A VR set for Sally, a new phone for Sue.

A new bike for Billy, a Nerf gun for Drew.

When we are all done, we rode back to my house

Where I found Santa sprawled out on my couch.

“You did a great job!” He said when he awoke.

“I did my best,” I said, “I tried hard not to choke!”

“I’m getting older, and this is a huge burden that weighs.

Would you come and assist me each year in the sleigh?”

From that moment on, I became his co-captain.

Each year we would fly, and make the holidays happen.

So, as we prepare to make this year’s faithful flight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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