‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a laptop was stirring, not even a mouse;
The manuscript was saved on the hard drive with care,
In hopes that The Editor soon would be there;
The writers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of book-launches danced in their heads;
And the agents in their offices, with Kindles on laps,
Had just settled down 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 I saw, as I sipped a small glass of iced-water,
A miniature sleigh, and eight best-selling authors,
The driver looked lively, he moved like a predator (?!),
I knew in a moment it must be The Editor.
More rapid than eagles his authors they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Gregory! Now, James! Now, Mantel and King,
On, Rowling! on Banville! on Mosse and Rankin!
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 authors they flew,
With the sleigh full of contracts, and The Editor too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The drafting and re-writing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney The Editor came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with slush piles and soot;
A bundle of books he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! as bright as the day!
The hair at his temples was fifty shades of grey.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The spine of a bestseller he held tight in his teeth,
And the five-star reviews 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 quick knowing glance,
Soon gave me to know I was getting a six-figure advance;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And signed all the contracts; 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 WRITERS, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!”
Adapted from the fantastic ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement C. Moore.