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Houston Matters

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – In Houston

The Houston Matters family gathers around the radio to a read a new, Houstonized take on the classic tale, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

It's a tradition for some families – reading the classic story ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. And so, with Christmas fast approaching, we gather the Houston Matters family around the radio again for something very similar: a Houston edition of the classic tale. Enjoy.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – In Houston

‘Twas the night before Christmas in Houston, when all through our sprawl,
Not an auto was stirring – traffic slowed to a crawl.
Drivers hung up on the freeway despaired,
Diminishing hope that they'd ever get there.

Their children were nestled in car seats with dread,
While visions of Sugar Land danced in their heads.
And mama at the wheel, and I in my ‘Stros cap,
Kept waiting for signs of a lane-changing gap.

When out on the West Loop arose such a clatter,
I lowered the window, saw what was the matter.
When, what to my horrified eyes should appear,
Some jerk trying to exit ‘cross ten lanes with a veer.

With a little old driver, hunched low at the wheel,
I felt in a moment road rage with such zeal.
He'd had so many chances to exit – how lame!
The commute was familiar...I knew them by name:

On Beechnut! On Bellaire! On Fournace and Richmond.
On Westpark! On Westheimer! On Post Oak and I-10.

So mother took charge with a tactic quite norm,
And with all her strength, she laid on the horn.
I leaned out the window and yelled with disdain,
Now dash away, dash away, dash OUT OF OUR WAY!

The feeble old driver paid us little mind,
And crept across traffic taking all his sweet time.
His eyes barely cleared the steering wheel, I remember,
His cheeks were like roses from blasting A/C in December.

He had a broad face, and a belly stretched further,
That shook when he laughed – from years of Whataburger.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He flipped not the bird, but kept to his route,
As he veered towards the exit in that jolly red suit.
And that's when I noticed piled high in his truck,
A bundle of toys for kids down on their luck.

So we waved him over in friendly good cheer,
For he – most of all – had to get outta here.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
‘Bove the HOV lane, so quickly he rose.

He stepped on the gas, and winged to the stars,
Like a George Springer dinger at Minute Maid Park.
And I heard him honk, ere he flew out of sight,
Merry Christmas to Houston, and to Houston a good night!

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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