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The Photographer’s Night Before Christmas



T’was 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 new photo gear soon would be there.

The photographers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of great light danced in their heads.
Dreaming of new images that they would soon make,
great pictures of wildlife, field, forest, and lake.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see, what was the matter.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
made magic the light on the objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

I grabbed my camera and snatched up my flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash
I must get this shot and I must be real quick,
I push down the shutter but alas there’s no click!

I can’t believe my luck, the batteries are dead,
where is that spare set, I think in my head.
A fresh set of lithiums I have in my bag,
If only I could get there, man what a drag!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
I think to myself I know his next play,
down the chimney he’ll come, today is the day!

I grab the fresh batteries and say a few prayers,
I load up my camera as I dash down the stairs
I hit the landing and stopped with great awe.
Standing before me I must relay what I saw.

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 new photo gear he had flung on his back,
all kinds of new gadgets filled out his great sack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
I stood there slack-jawed utterly dumbfounded,
my camera at my side all my plans were confounded.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
With a twinkle and a nod, up the chimney he rose
I fired off the camera. All I got was his toes.

Once he was gone I snapped out of my trance
I smiled as I realized I had missed my big chance.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, Good Luck and Good Light!”

About the author: Steve Gettle is a nature and wildlife photographer whose career spans 30 years. Steve’s images communicate his love for wildlife and the wild places of our world. His stunning photographs interpret and record the wildlife and landscapes of our world, while also acting as a lasting inspiration to those who seek to preserve the very subjects recorded in Steve’s images. You can find more of his work and writing on his website and blog. This poem was also published here.

Image credits: Header photo by Elektra Noelani Grey