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It was just a few days before Christmas 2017 and I had some time on my hands to sit down and write. I remember we had snow on the ground, a roaring fire in the fireplace, a nice hot mug of hot cocoa in hand, and my laptop in front of me with a blank template ready for my next big story. The Christmas spirit was immense in me on this particular day, and I was picturing myself reading the classic Twas The Night Before Christmas story in front of my family on Christmas Day. But I wanted to make it a bit different this year. I wanted to make it a little more personal. With my love for the outdoors, I wanted to put a bit of an outdoorsy spin on the story. So, I dug deep in my thoughts and began to type.
I knew that Santa would still visit those who are out camping or hiking on Christmas, and I wanted to share that story with the world as well. Even though I finished the story just in time for Christmas last year, I understood that not too many people would be able to enjoy it, so now, I am going to put it out a little earlier, and I am going to make it a Christmas tradition to share with all of my readers. Enjoy, my friends, and have a very Merry Christmas and a tremendously Happy New Year!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the woods,
All the creatures were stirring, just because they could;
The bear bag was hung by the high branch with care,
In hopes that no bears would know it was there;
The hikers were nestled all snug in their tents,
While visions of summit views danced in their heads;
And my wife in her down bag, and I just the like,
Had just settled down after a full day’s hike;
When out in the distance there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my mummy bag to see what was the matter;
Away to the tent door I stumbled, one-eyed,
Quickly opened the zipper and threw up the fly;
The moon and the stars lighting up the night,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects in sight;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer;
With a little old driver, wearing snow shoes and trekking poles,
I knew just who he was as he chuckled, “Ho, ho, ho”;
More rapid than eagles his coursers 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, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the peaks! To the top of them all!
Now trek away! trek away! trek away all!”
As I stand there in awe at the sight lain before me,
I couldn’t believe what my own eyes had seen;
St. Nick even hiked the backcountry, too?
And even he was geared up from his head to his boots;
A red, black and white internal framed pack,
With a hydration bladder and tube from the back;
He pulled out his compass and map for a moment,
Gaining his bearings, then pulled out a document;
My eyes opened wider than they ever had,
Was this the famed list of who’s good and who’s bad?
Does Santa really know where everyone is?
Even deep in the backwoods, we couldn’t miss Christmas;
I hid back in my tent, swiftly switching off my flashlight,
As the fat, jolly man approached the campsite;
He unclipped his sternum strap, the waist strap, and then,
Let the backpack slip off of his shoulder just then;
With the fire still smoldering within its own pit,
He set down his pack and began to unzip;
The side pocket opened and a bright glow appeared,
As he stuck in his hand, his whole arm disappeared;
He reached in so deep and pulled out a small thing,
Wrapped in bright colored paper, a bow, and D-ring;
Next, he made sure that the pack was well-propped,
As he unclipped the straps, and opened the top;
More presents emerged, all so pretty and shiny,
But just like the first gift, they were all pretty tiny;
I think Santa knows the importance of lightweight,
And the strain that the over-abundance of stuff can make;
He piled them all under a small pine tree,
Each with a tag written to my wife and me;
Then he closed up his pack, and hoisted it up on his shoulder,
Connected all the clips and climbed up on a boulder;
He looked over the campsite and the gifts that he left,
With a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his cleft;
A sip from his hydration tube coming out of his pack,
But I noticed a white liquid, and in his hand a cookie stack;
I noticed his footprints disappeared, left no track,
And the words “Leave No Trace” were stitched on his pack;
He spoke not a word, as he wandered away,
Trekking back to his reindeer and tiny red sleigh;
He grabbed the reins of his sleigh, and to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle;
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND ALWAYS PACK LIGHT!
As the sunrise began, and my wife soon awoke,
Christmas morning was here, and not a word I spoke;
She noticed the presents ‘neath the small pine tree,
Interlocking our fingers, and kissed my cheek
We opened the presents to see what Santa brought,
Wicking base layers, hiking boots, and a cot;
A new fire steel, and how did he know,
That I needed more white gas and a new lightweight stove?
Compression bags, multi-tool, a new knife and more,
A spork, some new gaiters, and some paracord;
More gear for more journeys was just what we needed,
Some dehydrated food, as our stash was nearly depleted;
We packed up our site and returned it how it was,
And continued our adventure with a Christmas Day buzz;
Merry Christmas from The Outdoor Soul to you,
Take your soul outdoors. It’ll thank you;
I hope you enjoyed this wonderful spin on an old classic. Feel free to share it with your family and friends this Christmas. I would greatly appreciate hearing your feedback and seeing a bunch of links to this post all over the internet world. Merry Christmas to all you outdoor lovers!Posted on