By Laurie Fagen

‘Twas the night before Christmas…
And at the North Pole,
There was hustle and bustle
On Santa’s snowy knoll.

The sleigh was packed full
By elves big and small…
As up to the sky
All the presents stood tall.

The reindeer were pawing
The snow with their feet,
As onto their backs
Fell a icy cold sleet.

But where was dear Santa?
Surprising but true,
He was in near the fireplace,
His hat all askew.

He was tapping his foot
In an impatient way
As dear Mrs. Claus
Sat there, quilting away.

“Now just relax, dear,”
She said with a smile.
“This quilt’s almost done –
It’ll warm you in style.”

“But what of the children?”
He asked of his spouse.
“They’re waiting for me!
As quiet as a mouse!”

“Now, dear Santa Claus.”
Her quilt fingers flew.
“It’s dreadfully cold.
Now what would you do

If you caught a cold
And got so darn sick
That no children got presents
Not even a stick!?”

“Just a few minutes more.”
She snipped off a thread.
“Do you like the elves’ jackets?”
Dear Mrs. Claus said.

The elves, big and small
Were looking quite rich
In the fancy new clothing
That Mrs. Claus stitched.

There were crazies, and patchwork and applique, fused.
There were old style and new style and fabrics re-used.

“It’s finished!” She shouted.
Mrs. C gave a nod.
She fanned out the quilt
And the elves oohed and aahed.

As from the warm fireplace
Dear Santa did whirl.
His eyes grew quite large
And his mouth gave a curl.

He said in a whisper:
“It is truly great.
Thank you, my dear,
It was worth the wait.”

So then with a whistle
Santa shouted, “Let’s go!”
The elves ran ahead
Into the cold snow.

The reindeer were ready.
Santa stepped in the sleigh.
Mrs. C tucked the quilt ‘round him
To keep winds at bay.

He gave her a wink,
She blew him a kiss,
And off the sleigh flew
To the frosty abyss.

Mrs. Claus and the elves
All hustled inside,
Right back to the fireplace.
The elves stood beside.

A rocker was perfect
For dear Mrs. Claus,
Far away from the fireplace.
(You know, menapause…)

She relaxed for a moment,
And thought for awhile.
“Now what’s my next project?”
She asked with a smile.

“A Snow Ball? A Snowflake?
A Children’s Delight?
A Bear’s Paw? Log Cabin?
They all do excite.”

Mrs. Claus gave a yawn,
A nap, her desire.
And soon she was dozing
Beside the warm fire.

But she heard Santa call
As he drove out of sight:
“Happy Quilting to all…
And to all, a good night!”

Copyright 2001 Laurie Fagen, Word Painting