The Night Before Hanukkah- A Holiday Poem

This poem was originally written by Steve Karbelnig on December 24, 1995.  It has been slightly revised and updated and published here with his permission (All Rights Reserved).  We at the Cafe hope you enjoy it and feel free to share it with others.

The Night Before Hanukkah

’Twas the night before Hanukkah
And all through the land,
The latkes were ready
To be fried in the pan.

The menorah had candles,
The dreidels were near
Would Hanukkah come late
Or early this year?

The goyishe children
Were in bed thinking ways,
of having a Christmas
That lasted eight days.

They couldn’t stand fruit cake
Or egg nog instead,
It was dark chocolate coins
Dancing inside their heads.

Hanukkah Bush in Havana, Cuba (Photo by Steve Karbelnig, All Rights Reserved)

My partner in pajamas
I slept while he read
And of course, all our pets
Were asleep on our bed.

When out on our pool deck,
There arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my blanket
What could be the matter?

To the sliding glass window,
I flew like a flash,
Opening up all the blinds
Stubbed my toe with a bash.

And what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a turquoise blue Prius
Had parked very near.

It was shiny and sparkled
As bright as a star
With an Equality sticker
Right there on the car.

With a little old driver,
Cheeks redder than cherries,
I knew in an instant,
It was Hanukkah Harry!

His helpers came quickly,
Kippas holding tight,
He called them by name,
And it took all his might.

Now Hershel and Moishe,
Irving and Saul,
There was Max and ol’ Jacob,
He included them all.

They avoided the rooftop,
What a shlep, oy so high!
With a sack full of goodies,
Tons of dreidels, oh my!

Such a noise they were making,
I started to frown,
We were trying to sleep,
Couldn’t they just keep it down?

He wore a black coat,
His beard darker than slate,
And oy, for a Jew,
He was up very late.

His eyes how they twinkled,
A bit like an elf,
His kippah was crooked,
As I laughed to myself.

It was Hanukkah Harry,
What a mensch, what a guy.
And so many gifts,
Where on Earth did he buy?

It could have been Target,
Or Amazon Prime,
With two-day delivery
Would have taken no time.

He spoke not a word,
But went straight to his work,
He gave out the presents,
And then turned with a jerk.

Oy my back he exclaimed,
As he lit the menorah,
And saw Irving and Moishe,
Were dancing the Hora.

Then he left in his Prius,
To his pals made a kvetch,
Saul was dawdling as always,
Max was having a stretch.

On his radio he heard
as he thought with dismay,
The words in a song,
“Make the yule-tide Gay”

With the gifts to deposit
And resolving his doubt,
He had been in the closet
And it was time to come out.

So I heard him call out
Without even a pause,
That his partner in life,
Was of course, Santa Claus.

How wonderful I thought,
With a smile on my face,
This only could make
The world a much better place.

And I heard him exclaim,
As he drove off away,
You must never buy retail
Oh and yes, by the way-

Remember that everyone
Is as cute as an elf
And it’s always important
To just be yourself.

Have the Happiest Hanukkah,
With good health through the year.
And next year, if it’s Kosher,
I’ll use a sleigh and reindeer.

Mr. & Mr. Claus (Photo by Steve Karbelnig, All Rights Reserved)