Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Night Before Christmas....Open House

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Actually I had my alarm set since I had already been at the shop the night before.  Karen and I were responsible for the outside decorations.  For a while that night I thought the clatter was thunder since it starting raining before we were done!!  Sharon, Sue and Becky had started on decorating the corner as they do every month but it had to be special this time.

Away to the window I flew like a flash.  Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.  The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.

Actually,  it was a little after day break when I finally open the door to head out to the car the following morning.  The rain had not turned to snow thankfully but the day did turn out to be quite nice. 

When to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

Actually the sleigh was a wagon that Pat and her husband had reconditioned and brought out to the shop last night.  It turned out so nice.  We filled it will greens and lights.  The tiny reindeer were busy elsewhere.

With a little old driver so lively and quick I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.  More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.  Now Dasher! Now Dancer!Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! 

Actually almost everyone was at the shop already starting on the main decorations.  The little driver so lively and quick of course was Becky arriving with all the precious items she planned on putting in her booth.  All the dealers were more rapid than eagles even though they had stayed at work most of the prior night.  We all moved about the shop putting up lights.  Calling out for items staples, extension cords and the like.

To the top of the porch!  To the top of the wall!  Now Dash away!  Dash away all!  As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, so up to the housetop the coursers they flew.  With the sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas too.

Actually we had ladders, thank goodness, to reach those roof tops and corners. A wild hurricane is a very accurate description.  In the midst of dealers, ladders, yards and yards of white cloth (we used to wrap the endless strings of white lights), strings of lights, boxes of inventory....I wondered if we would ever put all of this in place in time!!!!

And then then in a twinkling I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.  As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound, 

Actually I did hear a lot of prancing and pawing but it turned out to be everyone ooooohing and haaaaaaaaaaaaing when we turned off the overheads to see how all the Christmas lights looked.  Of course later we didn't have to since we blew a fuse or two!!

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.  A bundle of toys he had flung on his back and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. 

Actually we were all pretty tired, drained and ashes and soot but a little dusty.  When the store decorations were all in place we started on our individual booths.  Each dealer flung open their boxes and bundles of inventory....all looking like antique dealers just opening their pack

His eyes--how they twinkled!  His dimples, how merry!  His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!  His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,  and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.  The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth.  And the smoke, it encircled his he had like a wreath.  He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed, like a bowl of full of jelly.  He was chubby and plump a right jolly old elf.  And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. 

Actually we have put out an invitation for St. Nicholas to join us next year.

A wink of  his eye and a twist of his head.  Soon led me to know  I had nothing to dread.  He spoke not a word but went straight to his work.  And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk; and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. 

Actually everyone got to work.  We made sure the chimney was in place in the front corner.  Finished up our booths and went home only to return Saturday morning to fill up the coffee, cider and holiday treats. There was nothing to dread but of course we were all wondering how our first Christmas Open House would do.  How many customers would actually come
He sprang to his sleigh, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. 

So we finished the last tidbits and moved our cars  to the back.  We threw on the switch and opened the doors.

But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight

And as the last car was re parked the crowds DID gather.  We were packed all day and into the night.  Smiling faces.  New customers and old like.  They came from far and near.  All appreciated our efforts.  We were overjoyed..

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

And a big thank you to all that came to our first Christmas Open House.  We look forward to next year and we have already started planning. 

                      So yes, "Merry Christmas to all and  thanks again for a very good night!"

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