Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dear Clement C. Moore (Because I Couldn't Wait for Christmas)

We've read your poem "The Night Before Christmas" and went over it with a fine-tooth comb. Here are some suggested changes from our esteemed editors:

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

"Christmas" is offensive. Change to "Holiday."

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

In keeping with modern times, perhaps specify what a mouse is (not to be confused with the electronic device)?

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

Dangerous. Setting a bad example to children. Maybe suggest the appropriate distance between (flame-retardant) fabric and open flame. Also, stockings have gone by the wayside. Change to "pantyhose" or "socks."

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;

"St" is offensive. Change to one of the following: Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

"Nestled" is the problem in this section. "Nestle" is a name under Trademark protection.

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

No one knows what a sugar-plum is. We had to Google it. Change to "candy canes."

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

I'm confused. Who wears a handerkerchief and a cap to bed? Change to "night attire" and "boxers."

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

Not everyone has a lawn. Some live in apartments. Change lawn to "street."

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

"Flash"? Really? You're just really in to Rights/Marks infringement, aren't you?

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

Why did you eat the sash in the first place? I'd like a little backstory here.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

"Breast" is not appropriate for our younger audiences. Change to "upper torso."

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer,

We don't say "miniature." It's "little."

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

"Old" is derogatory. Change to "elderly."

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

Again, change "St" to "Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc."

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

Eagles are an endangered species. Do not use in excess.

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

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

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

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!’

Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms/Dr./etc. Nicholoas/Nick is very demanding of the poor animals. Perhaps he should ease up.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

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

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

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

Again, "Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms/Dr./etc."

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

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

One more instance of this, and I'm calling PETA.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound,

I don't want to have to tell you again. "St" is unacceptable.

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

Fur? Okay, DEFINTELY calling PETA.

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.

No one knows what "peddler" is. Again, we had to Google. Change to "seller."

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;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

You must know the dangerous of smoking, Mr. Moore. Change to "candy cane."

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

Obesity is no laughing matter.

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

"Elf" is an inappropriate word, unless you're referring to the elves in Lord of the Rings, in which case, you are infringing on JRR Tolkien's rights.

and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave 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,

Not "stockings" but "socks" or "pantyhose," as stated earlier.

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 of a thistle.

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

‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.


Make those changes, resubmit, and we'll reconsider publishing "The Night Before Holiday."

B.S. Publishing