Dere on de By-you

Translating the northern European traditions of St. Nicholas to the warm climate of the Gulf Coast was a challenge I faced when my children were young and now continues with my grandchildren. We rarely have snow, never wear heavy coats, prefer golf carts to sleighs, and use ventless gas fireplaces without chimneys. If we had reindeer roaming the nearby Piney Woods, I am sure they would have an open hunting season this time of the year. Fortunately, we have a local interpretation of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic 1837 poem called the Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair. Here, St. Nicklus, dressed in a muskrat coat, arrives on the bayou in a skiff pulled by eight alligators. After putting “playt’ings” in socks, the poem ends with:

An’ I hear him shout loud

As a splashin’ he go

“Merry Christmas to all

‘Til I saw you some mo’!”

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