’Twas the eve before Christmas . . .

and all through God’s house
I was busy in my office, with my computer and mouse.
The boughs were all hung by the altar with care;
Not a needle on the floor because Jose had been there.
Mary Jeffers exhausted, with an ache in her head
Surrounded by bulletins, already proofread.
As Jeff counted money given as donation,
Mary prepared for children’s Christian formation.
Suddenly out on the driveway there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the Great Hall I flew like a flash,
Tore open the draperies and rolled open the sash.

The snow guys were shoveling the new-fallen snow,
making pathways for parishioners on sidewalks below.
Then what to my weary eyes should appear,
But a Buick LeSabre with 12 passengers in the rear.
On this his last Christmas before he retires,
I knew in a moment it was Father Myers.
More rapid than eagles the vestry they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Art, Sue and Charlie! Julia, Josh, Janet, Connie!
Tom, Jon, and Mary! Bob, Courtney and Andy!
To the top of the stairs, to the main office hall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

Into the narthex the vestry they flew
With arms full of paperwork and Father Myers too.
A voice with a drawl, I heard near the office,
Saying “Welcome, y’all!” coming from Chris.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Through the parlor door the rector came with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
which well-hid the wrinkles, ashes and soot.
A bundle of envelopes he held tight in his fist
(Could they be bonus checks? No, they don’t exist.)
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 hair on his head was as white as the snow.
His glasses, all fogged up, slid down on his nose,
and the little white collar his neck did enclose.
He had a mischievous grin and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was tall and imposing, quite unlike myself,
and I laughed when I saw him, feeling much like his elf.
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 our mailboxes, then turned with a jerk.
After giving a blessing to all of us there
Through the front doors he left with his usual flair.
He jumped in his LeSabre, to his vestry gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim before he hurried outside:
“Happy Christmas to all . . . it's been a wonderful ride!"