'Tis the nights before Christmas, in Kewanee town
Soon the fam’ will be stirring, with nary a frown;
The gifts will be opened in most of a day,
Though longer, perhaps, and the reason I’ll say:
Where once there were children all snug in their beds;
Their children have children: we count thirteen heads;
And mamma wears no 'kerchief, nor I any cap,
We can’t get to bed, there’s a dog in our lap.
Where out on the lawn there was once such a clatter,
Of sons throwing footballs, or pitcher and batter,
Away they all live, but come home in a flash,
At this time of year for a great Christmas bash.
The lights on the tree and the wrappings below
Give a luster of warmth to the people who’ve grown.
More rapid than eagles my coursers they came,
Always happy they’re here, I can call them by name:
"Now, Burnie, Amanda! (with Bevy and Millie!)
Now Andy and Kristy! (with Sarah and David!)
And Pete! John, Alissa! and Joey and Michael!
Now dash back home! dash back home! dash back home all!"
Their eyes—how they twinkle! Their dimples, how merry!
Their cheeks are like roses, their noses like cherries!
They sing when at church of the Word become flesh
And at home they’ll all smile in the glow of the crèche.
While giving their presents, their joy will increase
In Him who is heaven’s great Gift, heaven’s Peace.
Then spring to their cars, to their kin give a whistle,
And away they’ll all fly like the down of a thistle.
But they’ll hear me exclaim,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
God rest ye merry, this Christmas 2014 and always – the Eckardt family