I hope the author of this fantastic poem doesn’t mind me posting this. We all know “The Night Before Christmas”, but check out this version which I discovered in the pages of a book called “Wáchale!: Poetry and Prose on Growing Up Latino Today”.
Twas the Noche
by María Eugenia Morales
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa
Not a creature was stirring, caramba! Qué pasa?
Los niños were tucked away in their camas
Some in vestidos and some in pijamas.
While Mamá worked in her little cocina,
El viejo was down at the corner cantina.
The stockings were hanging with mucho cuidado,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas would feel obligado
To bring all the children both buenos and malos
A nice bunch of dulces and other regalos
Outside in the yard, there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito
I ran to the window and looked afuera,
And who in the world do you think that it era?
Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero!
And pulling his sleigh, instead of venados,
Were eight little burros approaching volados.
I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
‘Ay Chato! Ay Pepe! Ay Cuca! Ay Beto!
Ay Pancho! Ay Chopo! Maruca y Nieto!’
Then standing erect with his hand on his pecho,
He flew to the top of our very own techo!
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chimenea,
Then huffing and puffing, at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala;
He filled the stockings with lovely regalos,
For none of the niños had been very malos.
Then chuckling along, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like el viento.
And I heard him exclaim and this is verdad,
‘Merry Christmas to all, Feliz Navidad!’