Twas the night before deadline, when all through the town,
Not a candidate was stirring, the election finally went down;
The stockings were hung on the mantle with thought,
In hopes that GO Train tix soon could be bought;
The girls were snuggled all cozy in blankets,
Not knowing their “new” Harmony Jewellers gifts were anklets;
And mamma in ‘kerchief, and I in my chapeau,
Had just settled down to enjoy the fireplace glow;
When out on the street there arose such a ruckus,
I sprang from the couch thinking a thief was to rob us;
Away to window with nose pressed to glass,
I wanted to see what was about to pass;
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre to main street and shops below;
When what to my wondering eyes came to view,
But a huge honkin’ sleigh, with St. Nicholas, too;
More rapid than eagles his reindeer they flew,
Nick was happy to see the stores come into view;
He whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Now, Teddy’s! now, Caliga! Now Main West and Objects!
On, Shoppers! on, Cibo! on, Ardun! and Ruffins!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,
Now shop away! Shop away! Shop away all!
As leaves that before blew in a wind rough,
Santa was on a mission to full his sleigh with stuff;
To the top of Fisher Stevenson, his coursers they flew,
With a list to be filled, he knew what to do;
And then in a twinkling, recalling past years,
He realized the many changes he could see here;
As I drew my head in, and turned around quick,
I realized the man in my den was really St. Nick.
His clothes were all tarnished in ashes and soot,
Said I, “See Manor Cleaners in Beamsville, the bill I will foot.”
A empty sack he had flung on his back,
Nick said, “Need to fill this thing quick and get back on track.”
“Great art from Objects to Desire would be right,
Framed nicely at Special Effects would cap the night.”
His eyes – how they twinkled, his demeanor, so cheery!
But something about him made me a little more than leery;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
His beard was not right, so I just had to know;
I gave it a tug to see if it was real,
And sure enough, fake! I was back on my heels;
“Bob Bentley!?” I exclaimed as I fell back on a chair,
“What happened to Nick and delivering toys with care?”
He explained as he moved in his suit of red, fur and leather,
He was helping Santa out since he was under the weather;
Elf production was down to due to layoffs at the Pole,
He knew no better place to shop, down Main Street he could roll;
He sure had the look, pipe tight in his teeth,
If Santa passes, this mission would he bequeath?
“Not a chance,” said Bob as he finished up his work,
Gifts dropped, stockings filled, he turned with a jerk;
“I’ll use the door if you don’t mind,” said “Santa” as he left,
Clearly I was wrong, there was no chance of theft;
He scooted through the core, getting all the gifts needed,
Other shoppers could learn from the words St. Nick heeded.
I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, –
“Shop local you all, Niagara West shopkeepers will treat you right.”
…Apologies to Clement C. Moore….
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As my 20th Christmas in Niagara West comes and goes, thanks to everyone for making 2014 such a rewarding year. All of us here truly appreciate your support and look forward to serving you for years to come. Merry Christmas to all!