’Twas the night before Christmas, and in Florida, see,
no temps had been falling, not one single degree.
The stockings were hung by faux chimneys with care,
but no stockings on feet, no those were quite bare.
The children ran ‘round in t-shirts and shorts,
while parents drank sweet tea and sat on the porch.
But they did have to snuggle under cozy wool blankets,
because the AC was on – ‘twas hot out there, dang it!
If out on the lawn there arises a clatter,
you’d better watch out, because here guns are standard.
(Imagine the headlines on that Christmas Day,
Duke Stands His Ground – Kills Santa in Sleigh.)
But that didn’t happen, no never you fear,
for Santa arrived more quietly, here.
His golf cart was pulled by a different steed,
by grinning old ‘gators, the most silent of breeds.
The little old driver now wore swim trunks and sunnies,
because fur, in this heat, is more dang’rous than funny.
In slow, steady time, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
“Now Gnasher! Now Bloodlust! Now, Thrasher and Chewy!
On, Chompers! On, Bucktooth! On, Snagtooth and Louie!
To the back of the house, past the fence ‘round the pool,
Now amble ‘round, slither ‘round, hurry, you fools!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane flutter,
wait! Hurricane? Quick! Put up all the shutters!
On through the lanai and sliding glass doors,
with the golf cart of toys, the Beach Santa tours.
And then, in a twinkling, through the hot humid night,
gators peeked ‘round the corner, just barely in sight.
As I came in the room and was looking about,
“Phew! No more chimneys!” I heard Santa shout.
He was covered in sunblock, from his head to his hands,
and what little he wore was all covered in sand.
A bundle of toys he had carried with him,
he looked like a surfer, just back from a swim.
His eyes – hard to see them, behind the RayBans –
but his cheeks were like leather, from years with a tan!
The beard on his chin was as white as the snow,
(we’re all just transplants, so snow’s something we know)
The stump of a pipe he was puffing with ease,
I said “in my home there’s no smoking, please.”
He had a broad face and a big, rotund belly,
he’d also been sweating and was just a bit smelly.
Despite the B.O. and stink of old smoke,
I laughed while I sized up the toy-toting bloke.
He stood by my side as I clicked my phone cam,
and got a quick selfie to post on my ‘gram.
He spoke not a word, which I thought kind of creepy,
“how long are you staying? ‘Cause I’m getting sleepy.”
With something that looked just a bit like a glare,
he threw down some packages without any care.
He went back to his cart and his gators of green,
and off did waddle, thus ending the scene.
“Merry Christmas!” he called, as they left my house,
“It’s Disney World, next – gotta go see the mouse!”