‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the shop,
Not a power tool was stirring, nor even a mop;
The spray guns were hung by the paint booth with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The technicians were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of OEM procedures danc’d in their heads,
I sat in my office, eyes watching the clock,
Waiting for nothing but to close up the shop.
When out in the lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
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 lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a smashed-up Honda Civic, with no idea how it got here.
A little old driver popped out, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must not be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles she ran ‘round the yard,
She whistled, and shouted, and call’d out for help:
“Is there anyone here? Any person around?
I need my car fixed; I need to be homebound.”
I arose from my chair and went down to the door.
“Good evening, ma’am,” I said, standing tall,
“Can I help you with anything? Anything at all?”
As she told me about what her collision implied,
I pondered my brain for any fast fixes in mind;
I told her to wait, and to the shop floor I flew,
With a box full of tools, and the Honda Civic, too.
And then in a twinkling, I took to my work,
Did an estimate, disassembled and revised in a flash,
The clock had struck midnight when I heard a great bash.
With a jolt and a jump, I turned right around,
When, down the chimney, St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of tools was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just 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;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d 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 the car,
He Bondo’d the body and painted the door.
And when he was finished, he flashed me a smirk,
He fill’d all the tech’s stockings; then turn’d with a jerk.
He gave me a nod, and up the chimney, he ran.
Leaving my dazzled, alone, spray gun in my hand.
Still dazed, I went to the customer to see,
That she was still waiting, her eyes filled with glee.
“Did you fix it, sir? Will I be home on Christmas Eve?”
I smiled, nodded and peered out to the lot,
“Not by myself, however, there was some help that I got.”
“Thank you so much, Merry Christmas to you,”
and out of the shop, to the fixed car, she flew.
Behind her, St. Nicholas soared through the sky,
reindeer all neighing—oh, what a sweet ride.
I packed up my things and closed down the shop,
And away they all flew, with a skip and a hop.
But I heard him exclaim, as they drove out of sight—
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.