The original famous poem entitled “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and better known as “Twas the night before Christmas” was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823.

I Lebanesed it in 2016. Merry Christmas, everyone!

by Nadia Tabbara

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all thro’ Beirut
There’s a hell of a lot of traffic on your nighttime commute
Someone cuts you off and you curse him to hell
Then you think ‘tis the season, wave and wish him well

You finally arrive at your family’s place
Ten aunts, a million cousins, each with an embrace
The electricity cuts out, but you don’t even care
The generator kicks on and soon dinner will be there

You eat ‘till your stuffed and it’s time to play cards
until family leave, sending cheerful regards.
Ibn ikhtik w bint khayyak are asleep in your bed
While visions of pokemons dance in their heads
Your brothers, sisters & parents all snore
You take the living room couch, next to the front door
You wonder if Santa will get you gifts this year
Because maybe you weren’t as nice as you might have appeared

As your eyes heavy drift into la la land
You see something that you could have never planned
The front door creaks open, an old man appears
With a tarboush on his head and eyes full of cheer

He smiles and says, “ahlein ya Nadia, kifik habibi?”
I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine…. maybe.
Then he puts his finger on his mouth in a SHUSH
And begins placing presents in a rush

Suddenly right then, your eyes get heavy again
You sleep like you haven’t slept in who knows since when
The next morning, there’s no water and the weather is freezing
But you are cozy with family love and friendly teasing
Everything is perfect, everything is just right,
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.