Christmas Eve in the 19th century

Amy, you there? Amy? I'm just wondering how your Christmas Eve was with the family in the 19th century. Did you recite the poem?

Oops. Sorry to interrupt.

I'm simply wondering how your reciting of the poem The Night Before Christmas turned out, is all.

It was that great? Wow, I'm so happy to hear that. You sound like you're in a very festive mood.



Santa made a visit and the kids sat on his lap? How wonderful.
And what's that? You saw a present under the tree with your name on it? 
Well, I can't wait to hear what the family got you. Perhaps the lady of the house picked it out.

You want to recite The Night Before Christmas just for me? Honestly, I would absolutely love that. Go ahead, Abby ...

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'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' 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 Mama 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 sprung 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 housetop 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 head 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 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.
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, as he drove out of sight -
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"