Twas The Night Before Christmas (Government Style)

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.

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 Albions 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 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 between sunset and dawn.

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