CHICAGO — Adapted by Tim Burke, December 2016, from the famous poem.
’Twas the Night Before Christmas and all thru the shop,
Not a tailor was working, not even a mop.
The clothes were all hung on the racking with care,
In hopes that kiosk customers soon would be there;
The garments were nestled all snug in their wraps,
while visions of clean shirts danc’d in our caps,
And Mama in her ’kerchief, and I in pressed pants,
Had just planned our store’s party with a nice winter’s dance—
When out on the drive-up there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the office to see what was the matter.
To the drive-thru window I flew like a fiend,
Moved open the sliding door, and threw up the screen.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name.
“Now Washers! Now Dryers! Now Pressing and Cleaning,
I have a Red Coat, Cap and Pants that need to be gleaming!
To the dirt on his collar! To the dirt on his hat!
Now wash away! Wash away! Wash away all that!”
Our machines—how they hummed! Our finishers, how merry,
His clothes cleaned like roses, smelling fresh like a cherry;
Our tight little shop cleaned all his garments with a bow,
While he watched from the counter, so happy right now.
We spoke not a word, but went straight to our work,
And cleaned all his stockings, then turn’d with a jerk,
We handed him back all the raiments folded and clean,
And giving a nod, he heartily approved of our scene.
He sprung to his car, to our team gave a wave,
And thanks we all smiled, his clothes we did save:
But I heard him exclaim, ’ere he drove his machine—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good clean!”