Merry Christmas to All!

Fröhliche Weihnachten!  Nollaig Shona Daoibh!  Naadelik looan na looan blethen noweth!  Merry Christmas in three languages, German, Irish, and Cornish.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday in any language.

This is such a magical time, especially for the kids….the dazzling display of decorations, the special holiday treats, the smell of cookies baking in the oven, the visiting neighbors, and all the excitement and anticipation of gift giving.  And of course, the ritual of the Christmas tree—the smell of forest pine filling the house, the strings of colored lights, the heaps of silver tinsel, and all the balls and baubles awaiting to be hung.

And in celebration of the Christmas tree, here’s an old German folk song my mother sang to us kids during the Yule-tide.  Of course, everyone knows this song as O Christmas Tree, but here is the German verse I remember so well:

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Mutt und Kraft zu alle Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren.

Oh fir tree,  Oh fir tree
Your garb wants to teach me:
Hope and steadfastness
Bring courage and strength through all times.
Oh fir tree, Oh fir tree
Your garb wants to teach me.

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without that American classic, Twas The Night Before Christmas. In 2nd grade, my classmates and I had to memorize this poem for our Catholic school’s Christmas pageant.  I indulge in a little childhood nostalgia:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through 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 mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang 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 house-top 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 of 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.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
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, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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About lesbianoutsider

Home of the PushBack Patriot
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3 Responses to Merry Christmas to All!

  1. Lori Heine says:

    I was going to put up, on my blog, a video of Linus reciting the Nativity narrative from the Gospel of Luke. (We all know it. It’s the one where he’s telling Charlie Brown, “and the angel said unto them, fear not…”) Whenever I hear that passage read, which is often, I STILL always hear it in Linus’s voice.

    But I can’t figure out how to do that, so — technologically challenged old woman that I am — I’ll simply wish you a Merry Christmas.

  2. incaunipocrit says:

    Reblogged this on Basil Wheel.

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