Audio: T’was The Night Before A Very Culinary Christmas

by Amy Flanigan on December 21, 2010 · 15 comments

Here’s a fun adaptation of this classic poem that we all know and love. By Paul.

Grab some hot cocoa and click on the audio link to enjoy his hypnotic voice. If you can’t listen, the text is below for your reading pleasure.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Twas the night before Christmas, in the kitchen below,
The utensils were clean, ingredients ready to go.
The counters were free from any clutter or fray,
Anything that might impede, or get in the way.

The family was asleep, Amy snug in her bed
While visions of feasting danced around in her head.
Nana, Papa, Haley, Trevor, Jen and Jay,
Were sleeping and dreaming of the meal the next day.

On the morrow at dawn, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
It was still dark outside, I didn’t mutter or squeal.
I crept downstairs to see Nana prepping the meal.

Amy followed me down, starting the oven heat.
She wanted to get cooking, it was such a treat!
But right away I could see the first challenge to sup
She couldn’t find her angled measuring cup.

There was so much to cook, so much to bake,
Where to start? What to make?
“The meal will be ready in good time, you know.”
Because Amy was already elbow-deep in dough.

The utensils she needed were not to be found.
She searched low and high, ceiling to ground.
“Where is my peeler?” Eyes darting everywhere.
Nana said, “I took it, and put it over there.”

Nana had moved stuff. She had a plan.
But Amy couldn’t find her favorite sauce pan.
Nana was using it to make the sauce thicken.
And so began a synchronized dance in the kitchen.

The bowls started filling, the knives started cutting.
The spatula flipping, the oven opening and shutting.
The water was boiling, the meat was basting,
The tummy was rumbling, the mouth needed tasting.

There was creaming and melting, slicing and dicing.
Frying and searing and curing and icing.
Blanching, dredging, grilling, carmelizing,
Glazing, marinating, reducing, emulsifying.

Amy was covered in gravy and flour.
Her mood plummeting south, from happy to sour.
”Where is the shredder? I need a spoon!
The timer is going to start beeping soon!”

The counter was shrinking, no space left to plate.
“This is one thing about this kitchen I HATE!”
Barked Amy, with no regard for us all,
“And I HATE that the kitchen sink is so SMALL!”

Then we heard the timer. The meat was complete.
I readied myself, heading for my seat.
The oven door opened, the aroma poured out.
“The ham is cooked perfect!” Amy said with a shout.

The ham was indeed perfect, full of juices and flavor.
The vegetables steamed to perfection to savor.
We all settled in to start our repast,
And a quiet fell over the dining room, at last.

For hours, it seemed, nothing but food.
Mouthfuls of meal so tasty and good.
The clinking of dishware, the sighs of delight.
The experience of the holiday, in full swing tonight.

I sat back in my chair, to full to talk.
And gave up even trying to walk.
But Nana arose, and, followed by a sigh,
Grinned and said, “Who’s ready for pie?”

The kitchen? A catastrophe of immeasurable size.
Just the sight of the mess was hurting my eyes,
When I heard Amy say, from just down the hall,
“That’s okay. I’ll leave the cleaning to Paul.”

The soap bubbles wafting into the air,
The sparking dishes, the cleaned stemware,
Faces full of smiles, a pure paradise.
Cleaning the kitchen was a small payment price.

The gifts had been given, the tummies were sated.
A bajillion calories consumed, I calculated.
And I heard from the family, and they drove out of sight,
”Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”


Leave a Comment

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim December 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Where did you you find this guy?? He is priceless!!! I enjoyed the laughs.

Thanks for inviting us along on your holiday adventures. Your fam is the most fun of all!


sippitysup December 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

I think you have created a family treasure and tradition here. Beautiful. GREG


Jude December 24, 2010 at 7:37 am

I imagined animation accompanying Paul’s narration – along the lines of Ratatouille. Bowls filling, knives cutting, spatulas flipping, the oven opening and shutting!…and finally, big grins on contented faces.

Happy festivus, you Flans.


Velva December 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm

A perfect adaption for foodies. Loved it.



Melissa December 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Paul is a whole lot of serious awesome. Wow.


Jen December 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Thank you Paul!


Amy December 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Thanks everyone! Once again, Paul shows his creative mad skillz. This time at poetry. What is truly amazing (to me anyway) is that it only took him 45 minutes to write this! He’s much too humble to admit his talents, so I’m doing it for him :D

Pam, yes it does. You could certainly print out a copy and substitute your own family names where appropriate.

Dad, I think Jen’s making a rib roast, not ham. But Paul didn’t know that. We’ll cut him a little slack.


Mom December 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Fabulous, Paul and ditto to Lynda’s comment. You already know I think you are so talented, and you keep proving it.


Joanne December 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm

this is awesome Amy. i need to find a man who will write Christmas poems about me.


pam December 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Fabulous!!! Describes many a kitchen this time of the year.


Lynda December 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Wow, Paul is talented! That’s even better than my “Cajun Night Before Christmas”. Have a wonderful dinner.


Dad December 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

It’s like deja vu all over again. Nana will be so happy to hear this will be an annual event!

Fun, funny, and so fluent that Paul almost read me to sleep. (Nice music touch, Paul.)

So, it’s ham for Saturday? Yummmm.


Stephanie @ Per l'Amore del Cibo December 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

LOL, I’m not even sure what to say. That was entertaining, for sure! Paul could make a living off of this!
Merry, Merry Christmas Amy and Co.!!


lo December 21, 2010 at 10:07 am

Love it. And I love your Paul.
Happy Happy Happy Christmas to you guys!! Looking forward to spending 2011 with you :)


Amy @ Serve At Once December 21, 2010 at 10:00 am

Favorite part: “And I HATE that the kitchen sink is so SMALL!”

Ha! I love it–and I think we can all relate. Merry Christmas, Amy!


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