So, the countdown to Christmas is on, the panic has grown in our household to just about contagion level, and I’m having sleepless nights as I’ve lost all my contacts list, including addresses for Christmas cards.
The only thing keeping me sane is that I have to give recitals at Christmas carol services, and I’ve already done the first. It was a very moving service in Richmond for a charity called Holly Lodge, and apart from me, contributors on the night included the actress Prunella Scales, The Green Goddess Diana Moran, a gospel choir, plus three school choirs. It was wonderful.
I was asked to read an updated Night Before Christmas for the computer generation, but it was a bit out of date, and didn’t rhyme. I rewrote it, and I thought I’d share it here.
Next week I’m reading in Reading Minster as part of a recording for the BBC. I’m getting in the spirit as Santa will be there, and I know what I’m going to ask him. Please Santa, take away my panic and bring me my computer contacts folder. Please? I’ve been good. Promise.
The Internet Night Before Christmas
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the Net,
Not a creature was surfing. Not even me, yet.
My mince pies and carrot were readied with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.The children were nestled all snug in their beds ,
While visions of Twitter danced in their heads.
The streets were all white, the sky a dark black!
As I plugged in my laptop, by the way (it's a Mac).Out in the Web there arose such a clatter,
I went to Yahoo and typed "what is the matter?"
My screen soon grew dark, and then with a flash,
It made a slight gurgle - It started to crash!!And the lights then went out. Now through the house,
NOTHING was stirring, not even my mouse.
But soon with some pixels a shape started to clear
As an image was formed and began to appear.The picture resolved, so bright, so quick,
And I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!
More rapid than broadband, and faster than games,
He spoke through the screen and called out their names."Now Hewlett! Now Packard!" My speaker was reeling,
"On Apple! On Gateway!" Santa was squealing.
"Jump onto the circuits! And into the chip!
Now speed it up! Speed it up! Don't let the pace slip!"The hard drive was whirring, he accessed my "Ram",
And out of the Mac rose a full hologram!
Dressed all in red, from his head to his toes,
It was Santa, his suit the same hue as his nose. Munching MY mince pies, he started to type,
And checked on his helpers - the wonders of Skype!
He pulled out some discs he had stored in his sack,
As he swallowed - some Yule log - and started to hack!He entered a password, up came a slide show,
And he looked at my photos with a loud Ho Ho Ho.
His eyes had a twinkle, but he then changed tack
While he paused at the keyboard - and asked for a snack.Then, with a wink of his eye, he said “don’t be afraid
I’m just going to tinker and do an upgrade”.
He chewed on some chocolate, gave my Mac a quick poke,
And accessed my Memory with only a stroke.He defragged my hard drive, and added a "Dimm",
Then threw in some cool games, just on a whim!
And updated Facebook, Google and Chrome,
Demanding - if I had some cake in my home.The drive gave a whirl, as if it were pleased,
St. Nick coyly smiled, the computer appeased.
He asked me if I had been naughty or nice
- While gobbling up a huge custard slice.As he upgraded Office and Excel as well,
While whistling loudly a quick Jingle Bells.
He decided to stop! And said " let's not risk it"
Then added - “I'm hungry, may I have a biscuit?"I started to wonder, Is this just a dream?
As he grabbed an eclair, and licked at the cream.
Then placing his finger on part of his nose,
He turned into nothing but ones and zeros!He'd been chubby and happy, the plumpest I'd seen
But he managed back in to my TINY screen
Flying in to the ether and through my uplink,
Back to the net with barely a blink.Leaving me with the magic, and secret that’s mine,
Of the reasons for Santa's enormous waist line.
And I heard him shout as he vanished from sight,
"Happy surfing to all, and to all a good byte!"