On the twelfth day of Christmas…

… a Christmas Eve poem.

It’s Christmas Eve. And so today’s final Random Act of Joy had to feature the Clement C. Moore poem ‘A visit from St. Nicholas’.


One day I’ll have the organisational wherewithal to print things like this on giant posters to spread across the country, or project onto buildings to really supersize the JOY. Until then, I have this beautiful edition of the poem and I’ll be leaving it at Manchester station as we change trains from Yorkshire to  Herefordshire.


In case you don’t find the book, I’ve copied the poem below in all its festive glory. Take a moment to enjoy the words; they really are magical. And if you’re with friends and family this evening, snuggle together and read them out loud.

Check out the lovely Jo’s take on the act too:


And so that’s the Twelve Days of Joyful Christmas done. A huge thank you to everyone who joined along with me and shared their stories and photos. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

A visit from St. Nicholas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
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, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His 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 on 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 bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

On the eleventh day of Christmas…

… cocoa for strangers.

Now that I’m back home, the pattern of the day is a little less rigid. Which is why it reached late afternoon without me managing to buy a cup of hot chocolate for anyone. I did, however, have a lie-in, play scrabble and paint my nails in a festive fashion. I love the holidays.

Late in the day, a browse around my school town of Easingwold was my final hope for a cocoa-buying Random Act of Joy. There’s a little cafe at the heart of the market square that was just about to close. I figured I’d ask to leave some change behind the counter for the lovely assistants to treat someone to their morning coffee on me.

But it got better.

The lady in front of me was about to buy a coffee but stopped herself as she didn’t have enough change.


I ran after her as she walked out of the shop and asked if I could buy the coffee instead. A few minutes of explanation, a few smiles and a hug: my joyful act was done.


And then we realised that they didn’t take cards. So the joyful act fell on Alec who treated us all. Thank you Alec.

Tomorrow is The Night Before Christmas…


On the tenth day of Christmas…

… festive films a hanging.

One of the best things about Christmas has to be lazing on the sofa watching a favourite festive film.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and, uh, ‘Die Hard’ generally feature in my festive mix. Today’s Random Act of Joy was a chance to share a little seasonal entertainment with a dvd, a bag of popcorn and the instruction to settle down somewhere cosy end relax. I chose the Irving Berlin classic ‘White Christmas’ in the spirit of a classic, sing-along Christmas.


I’m back in Yorkshire for a few days to see my family, so Mum helped me find a good spot for this bag of treats. It ended up hanging on an empty looking Christmas tree in front of pretty village church.


Random Joy heads up north.


Tomorrow, it’s cocoa time.