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Santa’s Night Before Christmas

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the clinic,


Not a patient was stirring, not even a cynic.


The stockings were hung by the light board with care,


In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.


The associates were waiting in their office suite,


Wondering what last crisis would bring them to their feet.


Would it be Post Traumatic Stress, drug overdose, or depression,


Or maybe acute anxiety that would call for a session.


The possibilities were endless as they all pensively thought,


But nothing they couldn’t handle, if that’s what Santa brought.


As time passed by on this special Christmas Eve,


The associates began to settle and feel relieved.


But then all of a sudden, there arose a great clatter,


So they sprang from their offices to see what was the matter.


Away to their windows they flew like a flash,


Except for Tonja, Betsy, and Anne who had nowhere to dash.


But reports came quickly from the rest of the group,


Who were always very good at keeping them in the loop.


The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow


Gave the luster of midday to objects below.


When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,


But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.


But the white-bearded driver was missing, usually so lively and quick,


And everyone wondered, “Where in the world was St. Nick?”


What kept our jolly old fellow far, far away,


The night before Christmas with only one sleigh.


Was it agoraphobia, encopresis, or simple ADD,


That the reindeers came calling on the associates for free?


More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,


And someone whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;


“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!


On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!


So who if not Santa was driving the sleigh that night,


And calming the reindeer from their terrible fright?


The South Bay Associates looked up into the sky,


And to their surprise saw Elsa and Larry flying by.


They swooped down in front of the building with ease,


And hid Santa’s sleigh behind a large tree.


Then snuck the reindeers up into the South Bay suite,


And proceeded to tell them about this wonderful treat.


To help Santa Claus in his day of despair,


Like Santa’s little helpers, they knew we would care.


Santa was hurting and was in great need,


To find peace in his heart and continue to lead.


A healthy new outlook on his job of many years,


“As most have stopped believing,” he said through his tears.


So South Bay Associates united on this magical night,


As their loved ones were in bed all snuggled up tight.


They had to be in their very best form,


So Judy, their caretaker, made sure they were warm.


She bundled them up in blankets and hats,


And padded the sleigh with pillows on slats.


Grace, their nutritionist, made sure they were fed,


Betsy and Veronica brought meds on the sled.


Becca came with pen, paper, and clip,


They knew she would be best to detail their trip.


Tony, Gale, and Fawn were smart as could be,


As wine cone sours, they brought drinks happily.


Tom brought order with Robert’s Rules,


Dennis came prepared with a box of his tools.


Cricket and Miggim brought names in disguise,


To test the elves’ knowledge through therapist eyes.


Tonja and Ann knew their job well,


To find Santa’s house and ring the front bell.


John took the lead as forensic psychiatrists do,


While Carla made certain she organized their crew.


They got onto the sleigh, united as one,


Excited for their journey, knowing it would be fun.


From behind the tree! To the top of the wall!


They dashed away! Dashed away! Dashed away all!


Up to the house-top the coursers they flew,


With the sleigh full of associates and Carla too.


And then, in a twinkling, they saw Santa’s roof,


And watched the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.


They had arrived just in time to rescue the eve,


As therapists they would help Santa to believe.


Their insights and observations would help him to see,


How important it is to be happy and free.


Free of his guilt and free of his blame,


Free of his worry and free of his shame.


The associates worked hard late into that night,


To help Santa see that everything would be alright.


They reminded him that by following his dreams,


He would model for people what Christmas really means.


Santa said, “It is the time spent together, presents or not,


That keeps people joyful, not focusing on what they got.”


The associates knew then that their job was done and as quickly as could be,


They ventured back to the sleigh, their hearts filled with glee.


The elves came running as they saw the associates packing up to leave,


For they knew that it meant in his heart Santa had found reprieve.


Good old Saint Nick was finally ready to get back onto his sleigh


And spread joy to all the people in his nostalgic way.


The elves watched him closely as they gathered all around


And one of them shouted “Christmas is saved because of who we found.”


Santa’s eyes—how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!


His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!


His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,


And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.


The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,


And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.


He had a broad face and a little round belly,


That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.


He was chubby and plump, his right jolly old elf,


And the associates laughed when they saw him, in spite of themselves.


A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,


Told the associates they had nothing to dread.


He hugged his new friends; then turned with a jerk,


For Santa was back and went straight to his work.


And as they sprang on Santa’s sleigh, they gave the reindeer a whistle,


And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.


On their way back, their emotions were elated,


Knowing if they told others they may get deflated.


They decided to keep their secret together,


The memories they built as team to treasure.


So as they left Santa’s village forever,


They trusted that their bond would not sever.


And together they exclaimed as they drove out of sight,


“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


 


Original version written by Clement Clarke Moore


 


 

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