’Twas the night before Christmas in a land far away
a once colorful town seemed rather quite gray.
Up high in my loft, I sat alone in the dark
with my cat, Nick, who followed me home from the park.

Surrounded by canvases and paints all around,
I peered out the window, but didn’t hear a sound.
Quiet and dreary below, the street lights were dim,
pines dressed the doorways, but the people seemed grim.

‘It’s just not the same’, I thought, Nick certainly agreed.
‘Something was missing…or maybe it’s just me’.
Feeling tired and drained, I knew no other way,
So I looked to the sky and I started to pray:

“Lord, I’m empty inside and have nothing to paint.
My heart feels all heavy and my soul feels quite faint.”

Then suddenly through the doorway did appear
a vision dressed all in red, a great presence, so clear.
The vision glowed and it sparkled with his beard, snowy white.
Then I saw his eyes twinkle in the small candle light.

He moved slowly, smiled softly, like a cloud on a breeze.
In the presence of this spirit I felt so at ease.
I explained my dilemma and told him my fears,
how the world seemed unrestful and peace nowhere near.

“My paints are all dry, my candle’s nearly out.
How possibly can I create, when my mind is a drought?”

He spoke not a word, but simply handed me my brush.
And I could feel this light rise in me and my heart start to rush.
Pointing toward the window and the street light below,
“Color your world, child”, he whispered, and my brush started to glow!

First brilliant blue, then ruby red, regal purple, and vibrant green.
Bright yellow then glistened into colors I’ve never seen!
Suddenly I knew and felt in my bones,
I wasn’t to paint for myself, or on my own.

I knew in my heart to help the world heal,
I must paint for others and spread this good cheer!
So I grabbed all my gear, my brushes, my slate,
my easel, and canvases — Oh, I mustn’t be late!

With my bag on my shoulder, red scarf ‘round my neck,
which was old and was warn, but felt just right for this trek.
Running for the door, all my gear flying about,
I stopped short when I realized I almost forgot.

As I turned to thank this spirit, the man I knew in my head
could have only come from someplace above, but instead
in that place where he stood lay a cloud of red dust,
and I smiled as I knew he had others to entrust.

He was off to spread the good news so that others could paint
or do what they can to follow the example of this saint.
Down the stairs I flew, never have my feet moved so fast,
nearly losing my boot from my loosely tied strap.

Onto the sidewalk I jumped like a child with both feet,
my brush dripping paint like a trail down the street.
On that corner under the light post, which no longer seemed dim,
but rather lit up the sky, and the snow and my grin,

I set myself up and soon children gathered to see,
what was up on the sidewalk with that old cat and me.
So I laughed and I painted and I told them the tale
of the joy this night brings as I sat on that pail.

Their eyes twinkled and sparkled as they watched my brush change
from color to color until images started to arrange.
I painted hundreds, maybe thousands, of joyous scenes with that brush.
A train for Jack, doll for Sue, bike for Billy … oh, my heart was a rush.

There was singing and caroling, the streets were aglow
just like I remembered from so many years ago.
After my last painting was given and the town started to rest,
my hand ached so with love and I knew I’d given it my best.

I looked to the sky, it seemed midnight drew near.
The moon was so heavenly while I packed up my gear.
As I turned toward my loft, snow glistening in the moon light
I heard a magical faint whisper “to all a joyous Christmas night.”

– by Rebecca Gruss