Inside the Capitol

Saturday, December 17, 2005

12-23 Christmas with Gov. Bill

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- Merry Christmas to all, with a special thanks to Clement Clarke Moore, whose 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," created what we know now as "traditional" Christmas.
Before that, there was no sleigh, reindeers or sliding down chimneys. Later St. Nick became Santa Claus and "Happy Christmas" became "Merry Christmas."
Moore didn't set out to change Christmas. The poem was never in print until a family friend sent it to a newspaper. Moore didn't claim authorship until 1844.
Previously, Christmas had not been a popular celebration. Churches avoided it because it typically was a public celebration with much drunkenness. Moore's poem helped make Christmas a family celebration, but also led to the commercialization of present buying.

* * *

'Twas the night before Christmas at the governor's house.
When the guv returned from a book signing in Taos.

Soon Bill was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of White Houses danced in his head.

"It's been a good year," said the guv to his mate.
"I lowered some taxes and gave all New Mexicans a rebate.

"I gave everyone some goodies from the big state surplus
And quieted my detractors so they won't fuss.

"Conservative commentators are making me a hit,
So it doesn't really matter that my suits don't fit.

"I bought a jet plane, a railroad and a space port
I need all those things, since spending's my best sport.

"Unfortunately, my claimed baseball career
Was revealed never to have happened this year.

"But I can keep up my image by hiring the press
To work at my side and clean up this mess."

Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
Bill sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

And there on the crest of the new-fallen snow
Was a State Police helicopter all ready to go.

"Come Bill," said the pilot, so lively and quick.
"The Democrat National Committee says you're its pick.

"We'll take you to Broadway, where you'll be on Times Square
To wave at your fans from the Jumbotron there."

Bill sprang to his copter, to his team gave a whistle.
And away they all flew like a Virgin Spaceport missile.

But I heard him explain as he zoomed out of sight,
"Tell New Mexicans I love 'em, and they'd better vote right."
FRI, 12-23-05

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)



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