‘Twas the night of Nativity, when all through the church
No one was stirring, not even that naughty kid Burch;
The lampadas were hung by the icons with care,
In hopes Fr Vasilios soon would be there;
The children were seated all snug in their pews,
With visions of hotdogs, M&Ms and juice;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I sans my cap,
Had just settled in for our long liturgical recap.
When out in the narthex arose such a clatter
I sprang from my spot to see what’s the matter.
Away to the candle stand I flew like a flash,
Bumped into an usher, who was really quite brash.
The look on his face was one you would know
He looked like ol’ Scrooge more so than Mr HoHo!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little grey Pinto with eight kids in the rear,
It’s old engine sounded colicky, clackidy and sick,
I knew in a moment it must be that ol’ Widow Pasternick.
More rapid than eagles her charges they came,
While she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Nicholas! now, Nickos! now, Nikolai and Nixon!
On, Constantine! on Kostos! on, Gus and Constantinos!
To the front of the church! to the steps by the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the iconostasis the boogers did flew,
With handfuls of candles – seven day inserts too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a big whoosh
I looked back behind me, and saw Phil Tamoush.
I went to say “Hi,” fore I turned back around
When there rang a loud bell, heard throughout the town.
Father was dressed in white, from his head to his foot,
And his vestments were trimmed in gold – and silver to boot;
An icon of Jesus centered there on his back,
He looked out over us as he pulled the holy doors back
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were all covered … even his nose was hairy!
With wrinkles ‘round eyes his years did show,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The chains of the censer he held tight like a thief,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a Subdeacon who had a big belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly …
By Fr. Joseph Honeycutt, ORTHODIXIE