Twas the Night Before Christmas 2010

Twas the night before Christmas, and here at our house,
Our children were stirring, yet nary a mouse.
For what kind of mouse would be living with us?
The kind who would grumble and mumble and cuss.

The screaming, it starts at the drop of a hat.
It’s quite hard to handle—for even a rat.
Lovie and me are both trying our best.
We can’t restore order. We never get rest.

Such is the case when your triplets are 3.
Of course, they are cute (because, they look like me).
But they bring a clamor to all that they do.
Whenever they’re playing, our house is a zoo.

Our Monster is brash—and he throws quite a fit.
Though after he naps, he’ll quietly sit.
He’ll hug you and snuggle and bust out a smile,
Then leave you and raise holy Hell for a while.

He’s fussy and hyper and kinda mischievous
But good out in public so folks don’t believe us
Whenever we tell them that he’s hard to take.
“Who him?” they will ask us. “Why, he’s sweet as cake.”

Monster, post nap.

Then there is Peanut, who’s really quite loud.
She often runs naked. (We’re both really proud.)
She’s bossy and funny and messy but neat,
Demands to watch Dora from Lovie’s backseat.

Me and Peanut.

Oddly we’ll often just do as she squeals.
Something ‘bout oil and a loud squeaky wheel.
But we’re good with Peanut and all her demands,
‘Cuase we’ve got our Biggs, and he likes to hold hands.

He’s snuggly and quiet—he plays all alone.
With either his train or his red mobile phone.
But that doesn’t mean that our boy wouldn’t spar.
You’d better not touch even one of his cars.

I wasn't kidding about the cars.

Seriously. Not a joke.

Because if you do, he’ll scream awfully loud.
While Monster is busily bouncing around.
And Peanut is shouting ‘bout this or ‘bout that.
And Briggs, our brown dog, is harassing a cat.

Thank goodness for Pookie, she helps us stay calm.
She’s truly a beauty—takes after her mom.
She’s thoughtful and playful and does well in school.
She’s loves to shoot baskets and swim in the pool.

It’s hard to believe that she’s already 9.
Though not my “real” daughter, she sure feels like mine.
I’ve loved her to pieces since she was just 3.
And much like the triplets, she’s precious to me.


Although they are precious, we weren’t planning more.
We’re really quite good with our posse of four.
But add even one and we’d prob’ly go nuts.
That’s what we thought before Dunkin Donuts.

‘Cause that’s where we learned that my Lovie was preggo.
News that was greeted with “No. No. No. No. No.”
Eventually, though, we would both come around.
And then from our hearts, much joy would abound.

My heart that is joyful has also a hole
Because of my sister and her gentle soul.
Although she did well in her fight once again,
The cancer’s the one who would win in the end.

Her battle was epic, and this past July
All of the experts had said she would die.
And though in a coma for 9 days she stayed,
She somehow would answer the prayers that we prayed.

My sister was able to come back to life.
And showed us much beauty through all of her strife.
And though she would leave us just three months from then,
She lives in that hole in our hearts now, my friend.

The joy of the season makes room for the sad.
My sister’s in Heaven right now with my Dad.
And though we all miss them and wish they were here,
Their heavenly Christmas, it fills me with tears.

But isn’t that just what this season’s about?
Feeling the ties that unite us throughout.
Christmas with fam’ly, both here and above.
I think that Christmastime’s all about love.

And so this is how I will finish my rhyme.
With love that has humbled me time after time.
The love that’s He’s woven throughout my whole life.
The love that He’s growing inside of my wife.

We’ve so much to live for, each one of us do.
Perhaps to write poems like this one to you.
Or simply to hold our beloved so tight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Here’s a little slideshow from my family to yours. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Snowman photo: stock.xchnge

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • Juli Westgate

    I absolutely loved it! What a brilliant and wonderful poem. Have you been doing these since the triplets were born or does it go back further?

    • Anonymous

      Juli, this is actually only the second time i’ve done one. this one and last year’s. i’m glad you liked it! Merry Christmas!

  • Anonymous

    That was beautiful, John.

    Merry Christmas to you all. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Jen! Merry Christmas to you and your entire crew.

  • The JackB

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • Anonymous

      Happy Hanukkah, brother.

  • Caroline_baker

    What an extraordinary poem! Blessings of those we’ve lost, those we have, and those yet to come. What a great, great message. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anonymous

      Caroline—you’re the best. Merry Christmas to you and your entire crew!

  • Eric D. Bolton

    God Bless you Mr. Osborne.. Merry Christmas to your entire family, my friend.

    • Anonymous

      Eric, Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family, too!

  • Sarah Bryden-Brown

    John, you are heaven sent. Love your work. Thank you for sharing joy. Happy holidays.

    • Anonymous

      Sarah, YOU are heaven sent! Thank you for your nice comment. I hope y’all are having a wonderful holiday season, my friend.

  • Anonymous

    So you totally had me laughing in the beginning – I even paused and started to read it to my hubby…then by the end I was crying and couldn’t continue reading (aloud). I’m not sure how I missed the news that your sister had passed – I’d been reading along closely as it struck close to home (I lost my older brother earlier this year). I am sorry for you and your family’s loss. I HAD seen about your lil surprise and although I can totally understand the shock – what a blessing and joy!

    Merry Christmas!

    • Anonymous

      @Barbara—I remember your sweet comments when it was all going down. i had written 5 consecutive posts in july, then a quick update some 6 weeks later. then a blink-and-you’d-have-missed-it post in October called The Goldsmith which relayed that her death was imminent.

      even when she survived the summer scare, i think we all knew that the end was a matter of months at the longest. still, we gained much meaning through her struggle and she left behind an impossibly beautiful legacy.

      on a happier note, i hope you had a Merry Christmas. And Happy New Year!

  • Weasel Momma

    Well done John. Very well done. Merry Christmas with lots of love and hugs to you and yours.

    • Anonymous

      WM hope y’all had a Merry Christmas. Happy New Year!

  • Terry Bennie

    This was quite lovely. Merry Christmas to your family.

    • Anonymous

      @Terry Bennie— YOU are quite lovely. thanks for reading. i hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year!

  • http://LifeofaNewDad otter321

    Beautiful poem. Beautiful family.

    I think you are so right that Christmas is all about love. Love for family. Love for friends. Love for neighbors. Love for everybody. And certainly love for all our blogging family too.

    Merry Christmas buddy!

    • Anonymous

      I hope y’all had a Merry Christmas, my friend. I bet it was an exciting one, what with thoughts of what your next one will be like!

      • http://LifeofaNewDad otter321

        Hope ya’ll had a Merry Christmas too. This was certainly a “last of its kind” sort of Christmas for us. I’ll be listening for the Hog Calls out of Tennessee on Jan 4. We have to keep up the SEC dominance of OSU. Go Hogs!

        Happy New Year!

  • Debbie

    What a great poem, merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • Anonymous

      Debbie—I’m so sorry I’m late in responding. Thank you for reading! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year, may 2011 be your best one yet!

  • Seattledad

    Loved it JCO. We are lucky guys, aren’t we. Merry Christmas to your whole, big, wonderful family.

    • Anonymous

      we are lucky guys, indeed. hope y’all have a happy new year!

  • Krishna

    Merry Christmas! I really loved ‘Twas night before Christmas’, and more than that the photos of the kids. Have a look at my video post on Merry Christmas at

    • Anonymous

      thank you Kirshna. hope you had a nice Christmas. Happy New Year.