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Star Trek's Data's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide
celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in
evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of
domestic rodent known as Mus musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from
the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our
anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric
philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of
St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective
accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations
of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums. My
conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to
take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous
exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance
that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the
purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this
fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as
it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to
rival that of the solar meridian itself - thus permitting my incredulous optical
sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight
diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged
chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that
he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power travelling
at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar
predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted
labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now
Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. - guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of
our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations
of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-
degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via
a downward leap - entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in
animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels
which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor
I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore
dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary
dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries
of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which
suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of
Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry.
His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop
knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular
and columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes,
forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative
seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he
waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner
of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short,
neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical
perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to
refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and
rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my
part was groundless.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned
appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise
extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth
receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about- face,
placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ,
inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith
effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He then
propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical
expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered
quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto
observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed. But I
overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation
beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary
constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a
salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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