Twas the Night before Christmas – Scientifically


‘Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the
annual yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence,
kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this
potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus
musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge
of the wood-burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory
pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric
philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific
title of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective
accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual
hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically
through their cerebra. My conjugal partner and I, attired in our
nocturnal cranial coverings, were about to take slumbrous advantage
of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of
the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt
compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the
purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing
the fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without,
reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline aqueous
precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian
itself — thus permitting my incredulous optical sensor to peruse a
miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by an octet of
diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a miniscule,
aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly
apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his
undulate motive power traveling at what may possibly have been more
vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated
loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and
addressed each of the octet by his or her respective
cognomen … “Now Dasher, now Dancer…” et al. – guiding them to the
uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I
could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven
pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was
performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved —
with utmost celerity and via a downward leap — entry by way of the
smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the
ebon residue from the oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had
accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor
I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he
bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his
submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging
amiability. The capillaries of his molar regions and nasal aptenance
were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the
former approximating the coloration of Albion’s floral emblem, the
latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub-
and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and
their ambient hirstute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular
and columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smokingpiece whose gray
fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive
of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than
it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent
abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup
in a hemispherical container.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the
aforementioned hosiery with articles of merchandise extracted from
his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle.
Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face,
placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his
olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-
taking, and forthwith affected his egress by renegotiating (in
reverse) the smoke passage. He then propelled himself in a short
vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air
through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of
burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable
chiefly among the seedbearing portions of a common weed. But I
overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his
vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: “Ecstatic yuletides to
the planetary constituence, and to that selfsame assemblage my
sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly
pleasurable period between sunset and dawn.”