Fans a-whirring, no wind stirring, windows open, temperatures in the 80s and 90s when the torrential rains abate. Other than that it’s a normal Christmas — stores packed, drivers going crazy in the streets, neighbors getting loud in celebration. Everyone’s gearing up for the midnight supper so common in Brazil. (Below, Daniel and Leila decorated our Christmas tree this year.)

[In a blog move, the pic dissolved into thin air. Trying to find it …]

And at the office earlier today I bopped out a nifty Christmas poem using the meter of the famous, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It just really fell into place, though I spent some time tweaking, and added four lines later. Here’s the first part:

A TROPICAL CHRISTMAS
by J. Randal Matheny

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when I wracked my poor brain,
To create a good poem, but all was in vain.
Shiny trimmings were hanging, the tree was alight,
Papered boxes of presents hid secrets from sight.
From the branches hung angels, swaying, bonny and fair,
Overhead from the ceiling, whirred the fan, stirring air.
All the stockings were bursting, full of nuts and sweet fruit,
Anytime we expected to see Santa’s red suit.
Pampered dogs were unquiet, sensing something was up,
But I languished at verses and cried in my cup.
What to do, if on Christmas, were I not to appear
With some verses to give them that merriest of cheer?
So I called on old Rudolph, now retired from the sleigh,
At his home in Jamaica, by the surf’s gentle spray.
Good old Ruddy was ready with lines I could quote,
On to you now I pass them — here’s what that dear deer wrote:

The rest of the poem was offered to list subscribers back in the day. Now, we recommend this site.

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