The Night Before Christmas (The Hanna Version)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the yard

Not a creature was stirring, all the beds were snow covered;

The Christmas lights were hung on the rooftop with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas (sans deer) soon would be there;

The spring bulbs were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of spring-time danced in their heads;

And I with my 6 layers of clothing and a space heater humming,

Had just settled down to dream of next summer sunning,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Carefully moved all the houseplants and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Looked dreadful covering up all my gardens below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny damn deer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his feasters they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

Over the fence! over the top of the wall!

Now feast away! feast away! feast away all!”

As piranhas that live in the Amazon river,

When they meet with a meal, leave not but a sliver,

So into the garden the feasters they flew,

Pulling a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, in my garden that was left

Were eight hungry damn deer committing botanical theft.

So I drew in my hand, and reached for a gun,

And cursed because city ordinance said deer shooting couldn’t be done.

Santa was wearing muck boots, jeans and a plaid shirt,

And his clothes were all tarnished with compost and dirt;

A bundle of seed catalogs he had next to him on the seat,

And he looked like a someone who was in for a treat.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

He was happy looking at roses and trees that grew cherries!

All the while his damn deer were making me wish I had a bow,

As they dug and stripped all that was left in the snow;

He paid them no heed, he just picked at his teeth,

And then turned a page as the deer ate my wreath;

The deer continued to eat and fill up their bellies,

Santa ignored them and dreamed of making home grown jellies.

The deer wandered in my greenhouse and ate the plants right off the shelf,

And I shouted when I saw this, like a right angry old elf;

Jolted out of his seed revere, with a twist of his head,

Santa came to realize what I had watched with dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

Planting new trees and flower seeds so he wouldn’t look like a jerk,

He replaced my devoured wreath with one made of spruce pine.

And giving a nod, satisfied with the design;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove into the sky black,

“Happy Christmas to all, and Spring soon will be back!”

9 thoughts on “The Night Before Christmas (The Hanna Version)
  1. Too, too funny!

    I haven’t even started gardening here yet, but already I’m growing aprehensive about all these deer around here. Can nothing be done, short of Bambicide, to deter them? Help me, Hanna. I’m frightened.


  2. So it seems you are not a deer lover either. 😉 Enjoyed reading your lyrics, even after Christmas.
    I was quite successful in keeping the deer off with an electric fence and stink oil (Oleum animale foetidum)put on cloths next to their most favourite plants (roses, apple trees). Here you can get it at a chemist’s. However, I’m not sure if that’s possible in America, too.
    Good luck and a Happy New Year despite all hardships!


  3. Hanna, I loved it! Very funny! We are in Misissippi, and trying to get a crop of figs is an impossibility. We got a German Shepherd, to keep the deer off; but he discovered they were delicious, and now we still don’t get any! And we have all grown attached to him, so it’s even worse than deer. Can’t eat him.

    Do you have any idea where one could buy olive trees? Surely some would grow here, we are in zone 8. Thanks again for the scented begonia info; I have ordered a dozen different ones!


  4. Awesome rhyme! Build a fence to keep out the deer next year, and have Santa leave gifts at the gate.


  5. John H on


    “Happy Christmas to all, and Spring soon will be back!”

    Conclusive proof that the merry old elf hangs out with that Yoda dude. He is starting to talk like him, next thing you know he will be finishing his sentences with an interogative growling “HHHmmmm ?”

    This cabin fever stuff is rough. I must appologize for any thing I have just typed… Is it spring yet ? …
    or at least ground hog day ? 8p


  6. This made me laugh….but it does not ease the pain.

    My wife was in tears the last time some four legged bandits came in and ate each and every last strawberry plant that she so painstakingly cared for over the year.

    I decided to get experimental…..and came up with a noise making contraption/kinetic sculpture device that actually managed to keep the invaders out of our garden here in Virginia this past summer.

    You can make one out of an old electric drill and some spare parts….I’ve got pictures and free plans at

    Thanks again for the chuckle…and keep that sense of humor no matter what happens.


  7. Hannah, please don’t ever stop writing! You had me laughing so hard, I did have tears in my eyes!! Love to read what other gardens are doing.God bless and happy gardening! Kat


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