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‘Twas the night before Christmas, with a coronavirus spin

A reader shares her reimagined “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”
Santa, portrayed by Dan Kemmis, laughs as he talks to Kristin Laidre as she walks her dog, Scooby, a Bassett Hound mix, as he sits inside a protective bubble in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood on Dec. 8, 2020.
Santa, portrayed by Dan Kemmis, laughs as he talks to Kristin Laidre as she walks her dog, Scooby, a Bassett Hound mix, as he sits inside a protective bubble in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood on Dec. 8, 2020. [ TED S. WARREN | AP ]
Published Dec. 18, 2020

Adapted from “A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was maskless, not even a mouse.

The sourdough starter was being fed with care

In hopes that the perfect loaf soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

With visions of TikTok swirling in their heads.

And Momma at her computer, reviewing our earnings

While I tried to swallowed another year of virtual learning.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my Zoom call to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

First putting on pants, even tying the sash.

The outside world looked oh so enticing,

After nine months of quarantine had been nothing but dicey.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight socially distanced reindeer.

With a white-bearded driver dressed in full PPE,

I knew in a moment that he must be COVID-free.

They posed for a selfie holding their phone with a stick,

This quarantine pod had grown pretty thick.

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

Wash your hooves, scrub them well,

Now wash away! Wash away! Wash away all!”

Sparkling clean and brimming with gear,

They jetted up the rooftop to ring in good cheer.

The sleigh was filled with Clorox wipes and paper towels,

Sanitizer, toilet paper and all-purpose flour!

Then old Saint Nick, not wasting any time, shouted, “Gotta make this quick,

I’m also a driver for Amazon Prime!”

He sprang to his sleigh, gathering his crew,

And with one last spritz of Purell, away they all flew.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —

“A very COVID-free Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Ashley Ondrick is a (mostly) healthy chef, cooking for private parties and weekly meal prep, and teaching home-based cooking classes throughout Tampa Bay. She is also an avid Instagrammer (@amostlyhealthychef) and loves photography (mostly just food!) and writing. She lives in St. Petersburg with her papillon, Spritz.