Here is my contribution to author Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest.  The rules were simple.  Write our own version of Clement C. Moore’s classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Go here to read all the other entries.  They are great!  Thanks to Susanna for hosting another fun challenge!


‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through the night,

We parents were wrapping with all of our might.

The stockings were stuffed but the presents were bare.

“I’ll be more organized next year… I swear!”


We prayed that the children would stay in their beds,

Snuggled in tight with the spreads on their heads.

While Daddy with his screwdriver and I with my tape,

Settled in to the task to make Christmas take shape.


When all of a sudden the dog began barking.

The reflection of bows on the ceiling were sparkling!

I sprang from the couch and led him away —

Into his crate to await Christmas Day.


At last we were ready to load up the tree.

Poor Daddy endured sharp instructions from me.

First this one!  Now that one! Put this one on top.

Be CAREFUL! It’s fragile!  Be sure it won’t drop.


And then we collapsed, exhausted and frayed.

“Oh please let the kids sleep ‘til eight,” we both prayed.

One blink of an eye and we heard the kids cheer,

“Come look at the tree, ‘cause Santa’s been here!”


We groaned in our beds, our eyes red and puffy.

The kids both looked glowing, while we looked quite scruffy.

I brewed us some coffee and scorching hot tea,

Then readied myself for the festivity.


One blink of an eye and the presents were done.

The kids were quite eager to play and have fun.

But as they were cleaning up ribbon and wrapping,

I lay my head down and soon began napping.


As I slipped into dreams, I heard a soft voice

Remind me to savor the day and rejoice.


And here I exclaim as I blog through the night, Happy Holidays to all and to all a Good Night

Categories: Authors, Creativity, Holidays, Poetry, Rhyming, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. I absolutely ADORE this. You really captured the craziness of night before Christmas (parent-style) in a very sweet way. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Love it, Julie! Great rhyme, rhythm, and perfect picture of Christmas from a parent’s point of view.

  3. Love this! I thought about entering, but time is an issue. And I am trying to finish a story. *sigh*

    Julie, savor the day and rejoice. Perfect ending. (((hugs)))

    • Luckily, this meter comes very easily to me, as it’s my favorite and one I write in often. I know all about time being of the essence. Good luck finishing your story!

  4. Oh. I’m laughing at the dog barking and the “sharp instructions” and then it struck me that in a few years that could be our family. I agree with Robyn — a perfect ending.

  5. Julie – I loved this! My favorite lines:

    We prayed that the children would stay in their beds,

    Snuggled in tight with the spreads on their heads.

    While Daddy with his screwdriver and I with my tape,

    Settled in to the task to make Christmas take shape.

    – You achieved almost Seussesque rhythm and whimsy here!

  6. This was so fun – and too real. Love the reminder to enjoy the day. Good job!

  7. Well done Julie. such talent. im so jealous – i can barely hold the rhythm as i read it never mind trying to write it.

  8. This is delightful and fun! Well done, Julie!

  9. Wonderful, Julie! Much more like these days that Ma and Pa being snuggled in bed when Santa arrives.

  10. Wonderful, Julie! Much more likely these days than Ma and Pa being snuggled in bed when Santa arrives.

  11. Almost like our Christmas past, except:

    As soon as I lie down for well-deserved napping,
    KNOCK KNOCK! At the front door the in-laws are rapping!

    Nice entry! Someday we can say we were among The First to enter Susanna Hill’s writing challenges!

  12. So cute! So cute! So cute! Really nice rhyme…flowed perfectly!

  13. What a great entry, Julie! I totally love it! Anyone who’s a parent has certainly been here! You captured all the details so beautifully (and humorously!) Thanks for sharing this delightful story!!!

  14. Julie, this is terrific! I’ve spent many a Christmas Eve night just as the parents in your poem. 🙂

  15. I loved it! Great rhyming!
    Poor them, while the doorbell kept chiming!
    Great job! Great realistic setting!
    Poor parents, all they could do were some betting!

    While we were snuggled up oh so tight,
    They didn’t exactly have a good night.
    All they did…………..———————

    OK. I think you get the idea. I really liked your poem! 🙂

  16. Ahhhh..As a parent of toddlers, I really got a kick out of your version! It was wonderfully written. Great job!

  17. I like it, Julie! And it reminds me of the way it used to be when my kids were small. Thanks for the memories…

  18. Love your poem, Julie! Don’t have kids myself but can imagine how much work goes into Christmas Eve set-up. 🙂

  19. This was great, Julie! As a parent I can certainly relate! Very well written.

  20. This is fantastic Julie! So true of Christmas and wonderful rhythm. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas.

  21. I have reread your version and I’m not so sure it’s not better than the original! I like the hopping the kids sleep till 8 part. Never happens does it?

    • Wow Tim! Given that I idolize Clement C. Moore, this is a very fine compliment indeed. Thank you!

      And no – the kids are up by 6:00. 😉

  22. Sounds familiar!
    Great poem!

  23. I loved it! You captured the sentiment of so many of us! “The stockings were stuffed, but the presents were bare. I’ll be more organized next year I swear!” I say it EVERY year–promise! 🙂

  24. I’ve had such a fun time reading all of these entries! Great job Julie. Love the humor in it. And yes, it does sound familiar 🙂

  25. You really know how to capture a parental audience! Way to go! Good luck in the contest and thanks for sharing. Your rhyme and rhythm were great – did you find it difficult to write in such a hurry? I sure did.

    • Miranda – I did and I didn’t. This is my favorite meter to use, so it comes kind of easily to me. It took me a LONG time to come up with an idea though. I guess they got all used up during PiBoIdMo – LOL!

  26. Julie, I loved your entry. I remember those days — very clever theme. Your rhyming was very good. You have a talent.

  27. Julie: Fabulous poem! Turns out we have a friend in common, Alison Pierce Stevens. Alison and I went to Chautauqua last summer for the Highlights Writers Workshop. Good luck in the contest.

  28. Julie,

    Love the text and the images it evokes!!!
    So relatable whether parent or grandparent 😀

    Marketing: great for a Baby Shower gift or New Parent gift ;D

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!!!

  29. This is great, Julie, and so true!! I miss those days 🙁

  30. Excellent entry, Julie. Dare I ask if this is autobiographical? It certainly gives us a wonderful visual of the night before! Excellent rhyme and rhythm! I really love your final couplet to finish – ends so well.

  31. I loved reading your poem! Great rhythm…and a story I can definitely relate to! Am hoping our two little ones will go to bed early tonight so we can finish the wrapping. I can also relate to blogging through the night. Way too many nights I have stayed up too late to get a post out…and I don’t even post that often 🙂 Good luck in the contest, and happy holidays!

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software