‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the schools
Not a student was stirring, not even in the pools.
Test results were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that admissions results soon would be there.
The students were nestled all snug in their desks,
While visions of college danced in their heads.
And Consultants in their kerchiefs, and Cram Crew in its cap,
Had just settled their brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the streets there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the chimney, we flew like a flash,
Opened the envelopes, knowing there wouldn’t be cash.
The moon reflected on the newly-parked cars
Gave the luster of mid-day, the sun in the stars.
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But an orange sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so studious and quick,
We knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than FAFSA, his reindeers they came,
The man shouted and sung, and called them by name!
“Now Memorial! Now, St. John’s! now, Kinkaid and Strake and Lamar!
You go Second Baptist, St. Thomas, Emery, Houston Christian!
To the top of the class! to the top of the honor roll walls!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!
As dry leaves that fly before Houston winds,
When they meet with an obstacle, fly on humid wings
So up to the colleges the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh-full of grades, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in the night, we heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As we left the class and were turning around,
Down to the gym St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed in Texas fur, from his head to his boot,
And his clothes were all marked with graduation soot.
A bundle of grades he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a thief, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his moustache how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin, white like Yankee snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a Tex-Mex-fed belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, like a Texas steer,
And we laughed when he saw him, and showed him no fear!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the mailboxes, then turned with a jerk.
He laid a finger aside his nose,
And giving a nod, back out the school he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like mosquitoes in thistles.
But I heard him explain when he sped out through I-10,
“Merry Christmas, Happy 2014, and we’ll see you then!”
– Hugo R.