THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS IN EAST COUNTY

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and all across East County

Not a creature was stirring, from Borrego to El Monte.

The cowboy boots were hung by the chimneys with care

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there.

 

From Barona to Ramona, Jacumba to Jamul

East County residents  are celebrating the Yule.

The weather is sunny with just a slight breeze

While much of our nation shivers in a freeze.

 

And from their computers amid holiday dishes

Our readers have sent Santa their holiday wishes.

As El Nino rings in the New Year with holiday bells

Rural residents hope rainfall will soon fill their wells.

 

Over in El Cajon, loyal arts fans are hopin’

The Performing Arts Center soon will reopen.

Local refugees here from the Middle East

Want Santa to please bring our planet world peace.

 

Meanwhile in Lakeside residents ask help divine

To stop El Monte Valley from becoming a sand mine.

In La Mesa’s downtown, where construction is done,

Merchants want shoppers to return-- every one.

 

Parents in Alpine, want a judge to soon rule

That Grossmont must fund the long-promised high school.

In Jamul, where completion of a casino draws near

The tribe hopes the New Year brings lots of good cheer.

 

Environmentalists’ voices are raised in a chorus

Asking Santa to protect Cleveland National Forest.

Covert Canyon’s neighbors meanwhile are rooting

For Santa to please put a stop to the shooting.

 

Out in the vineyards from valleys to mountaintops

Winery owners are asking for bountiful crops.

Julian’s farmers want more apples to grow

So all the town’s pie makers can be rolling in dough.

 

At East County’s Native American reservations

Tribes seek good fortune for all sovereign nations.

Way out in Descanso, KNSJ’s engineer

Wants  a strong and clear signal for all of next year.

 

San Diego’s Mayor has  snuggled in his bed

While visions of a new football team dance in his head.

Atop Mount Laguna, lodge guests in night caps

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

 

When out o’er the lodge there arose such a clatter,

They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.

Away to the windows they flew like a flash,

Jumped on their hoverboards and out they did dash.

 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,

But a magical sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

 

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

They knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Beside golden eagles his reindeer 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!

To the top of the mountain!  To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

 

As dry leaves that before Santa Ana winds fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the mountaintop the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

 

And then, in a twinkling, guests heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As  they drew in their heads, and were turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

 

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with Chariot Fire soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a backpacker opening his 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 of his chin was as white as the snow;

 

An Indian peace pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And its  smoke encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like Julian apple jelly.

 

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

So folks laughed when they saw him, in spite of themselves;

A wink of his eye and the red cowboy hat on his head,

Soon gave them to know they 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;

 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down on a thistle

But all heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas, East County, and to all a good night!”