‘Twas the Night before Christmas in Maine 

By Earl Brechlin


‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all over Maine, 

the landscape was quiet, to hear sleigh bells ears strained.  

Silverados and Subarus were parked in the dooryard with care, 

in hopes that the state’s most famous winter tourist soon would be there. 

The kiddos were nestled all snug in Rangeley Lake beds, 

while visions of skiing Saddleback danced in their heads. 

And Mother in her flannels, and I in my old Tom Brady shirt, 

had just finished our Moxie and were on to dessert. 

When out by the brush pile there arose such a clatter, 

I sprang from the Marden’s discount recliner to see what was the matter. 

Away to the frosted windows, I flew like a flash, 

tore open the gingham curtains, and cursed the painted-shut sash. 

The moon on the Kubota beneath still unshoveled snow, 

gave the luster of downtown Meddybemps to objects below. 

When, what to my wondering eyes should show through, 

but a flying Skidoo Grand Touring, and tiny ATVs too. 

With a little old driver, wearing Carhart overalls, 

I knew in a moment its wasn’t more expired warrantee calls. 

More rapid than chickadees, these chowdah heads came, 

and the bearded dude shouted, and recited all 16 counties by name. 

“To the summit of Cadillac! To Katahdin’s headwall! 

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!” 

Like early birds at Reny’s before Nor’easters fly, 

he raced o’er the Appalachian Trail, and up to the sky. 

Up over the wind vane like nimrods they flew, 

with the rig full of toys – and socks and underwear too. 

And then in a twinkling, by the blue tarp on the roof, 

came wicked prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 

I crossed my fingers he wouldn’t slip and fall in the snow, 

If an ambulance gave chase he’d probably Call Joe. 

As I pushed back my Yaz hat, and was just turning ’round, 

down the rusty pipe to the all-nighter Santa came with a bound. 

He was rocking a polished, trailside casual look, 

his shirt was as red as a lobster after just being cooked. 

Cases of B&M baked beans were slung over his back, 

and tons of other Maine-made goodies spilled out of his pack. 

His eyes – how they twinkled! His L.L.Bean vest how merry, 

his cheeks were like red hots, with a hint of blueberry. 

The mask on his face could not conceal his good cheer, 

and he promised Doctor Shah he’d social distance this year. 

He delighted in finding a large double shot from Dunkin, 

peppermint spice for him only, he really hates pumpkin. 

He’s partial to Moxie and whoopie pies too, 

he can’t pass by a Dysarts without having a few. 

He was happy and playful, a right jolly old elf, 

and I laughed when I saw what he did last night on the shelf. 

He spoke not an “Ayuh,” but went straight to his work, 

and filled all the Muck Boots, then turned with a jerk. 

And waving his hand, saying the 5G was spotty, 

with a Ho! Ho! Ho!, he shouted, “Beam me up, Scotty.” 

He sprung to his 4-stroke, to the key gave a twist, 

And off they flew Downeast with a flick of the wrist. 

But I heard him exclaim, as he faded out of sight,  

Merry Christmas Deah Mainahs! And to all a good night! 

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.
Earl Brechlin

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