traditions: ’twas the night before Christmas

You’ve probably read the mainstream version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, where jolly old St. Nick arrives in a flurry, leaves gifts in a hurry and wishes all a good night at tale’s end.

I remember my mom reading that story to us as kids, after which she would follow with the story of Jesus’ birth, read from the book of Luke.

And while those Christmas stories, Twas the Night included, are heart-warming and fun to read in and of themselves, I would rather hear the birth of Christ retold time and time again.

I stumbled on multiple spoofs of the tale, all Christian, but this one spoke to me most:

Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed
Not once ever kneeling or bowing their head
And mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap

When out of the east there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But [a trumpet] proclaiming that Jesus was here
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be the day

The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus, returning just as he said
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth
I cried when I saw Him, in spite of myself

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man
He spoke not a word as he searched for my name
When He said “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame

The people whose names had been written in love
He gathered to take to His Father above
With those who are ready, He rose without sound
While all the rest were left standing around

I fell to my knees, but it was too late
I had waited too long and this sealed my fate
I stood and cried as they rose out of sight
Oh, if I had only been ready tonight

In the words of the meaning it is clear
The coming of Jesus is drawing near
There’s only one life and when comes that last call
We’ll find that the Bible was the true Word of God after all

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