the Night before Kalikimaka

‘Twas da night before Kalikimaka, and all through the hale, not a creature was stirring, not even an iole.

The kakani were hung by the heiau with care, In hope that Santa Claus soon would be there.

The keiki were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of coconuts danced in their heads;
And tutu in her mu’umu’u and I in my malo, Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap;

When out on the lanai there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my lauhala mat to see what was the matter;
Away to the puka I flew like a flash, Tore open the coconut leaf and threw up the kapa;

The moon on the shore of the blue beautiful ocean, Gave a luster of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature canoe and eight tiny fish, With a little old paddler so lively and quick, I knew in a flash it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than waves his white caps they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now Koa! now Kawika! now Lani and Pomi! On Lono! On Pulama! On Kai and ‘Ilima!

To the top of the reef! to the top of the mountain! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As soft sand that before the volcano Pele erupts, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the hale the waves they flew, with a canoe full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and flipping of each little fish

As I drew in my head and was turning around, Down the mountainside St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in ti leaves, from his head to his foot, And his flowers were all soft with a fragrant smell; a bundle of coconuts he had flung on his back, and he looked like a Hawaiian 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 his beard on his chin was as white as the clouds; The branch of a palm tree, he held tight in his hand, and the leaves, they wrapped around his hand like a naheka.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old tourist, 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 kakani; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the palm tree he rose.

He sprang to his canoe, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the wind of a hurricane. But I heard him exclaim, here he drove out of sight,

“Happy Kalikimaka to all, and to all a good night!”

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