A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS FOR READERS IN THEIR 23RD YEAR OF
'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 various 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 slumberous 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 supra-labials resembled nothing
so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute 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
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 seed-bearing 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 self-same assemblage my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and
gratifyingly pleasurable period."