‘Twas a Night Before Christmas (Legal Version)

Please accept without obligation, express or implied, these best wishes for an environmentally safe, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, and gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday as practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice (but with respect for the religious or secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or for their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all) and further for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated onset of the generally accepted calendar year (including, but not limited to, the Christian calendar, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures). The preceding wishes are extended without regard to the race, creed, age, physical ability, religious faith or lack thereof, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee(s).


Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at sometime thereafter. The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as (“I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter “Mamma”), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter “the Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter “the Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co- conspirator named “Rudolph” may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items.

He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as “lookouts.” Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Or words to that effect.

h/t SBS DIva Blog via Munira Nahas of Queen’s Law (2011)

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2 Comments on "‘Twas a Night Before Christmas (Legal Version)"

  1. David Shulman | December 25, 2008 at 12:53 am |


  2. A recently-discovered historical document, submitted for your consideration:


    As taken by Clement C. Moore, notary public


    WHEREAS, during the early 4th century, A.D., Roman theologians, in an effort to attract new adherents to Christianity, did incorporate numerous non-Christian traditions
    Into their various celebrations, therewith;
    AND, WHEREAS, one of those traditions, coinciding closely with the winter solstice, was the celebration, by the cult of Minthras,
    Of the birthday of Minthras, on December 25th;
    AND, WHEREAS, following the Roman Church’s annexation of that date as the celebration of the birth of Christ, the day became known as the Feast of the Nativity,
    And was thereafter referred to as “Christmas.”
    AND, WHEREAS, the events described hereinbelow did occur following sunset on December 24,
    (i.e. ‘Twas the night before Christmas.)
    AND, WHEREAS, there did occur at that certain improved tract or parcel of real estate owned by my domestic partner and myself in fee simple as tenants by the entirety, and not as tenants in common
    (Hereinafter referred to as the “House”),
    a general lack of kinetic energy among any and all of the inhabitants thereof, both invitees and uninvited trespassers including, but not limited to, that species of diminutive rodent
    Known as Mus Musculus (to wit: the mouse);

    AND, WHEREAS, a variety of knitted tubular coverings for the lower extremities (i.e. hosiery and socks, etc., hereinafter collectively referred to as “stockings”) had been meticulously affixed (but only affixed temporarily, so as not to become “fixtures”)
    To the exterior flue of the fireplace,
    Upon information and belief, and with the reasonable expectation, that an eccentric philanthropist known by various aliases, including the honorific title of “Saint Nicholas,”
    Would arrive in due course, and visit this place;
    AND, WHEREAS, the minor offspring of the occupants of the aforementioned House (hereinafter referred to as the “Children,” regardless of whether they were the natural issue of the said occupants [or of either of them] or had been adopted, or were in the process of being adopted, by them prior to having reached the age of majority) were comfortably ensconced
    In their respective sleeping accommodations, or beds;
    And were experiencing nocturnal hallucinations (i.e. dreams),
    wherein visions of confectionary treats including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums (many of which were lacking or otherwise not meeting FDA labeling requirements)
    Did parade, cavort, and otherwise seem
    To dance through their respective cerebrums, or heads;

    AND, WHEREAS, the Party of the First Part (sometimes referred to as “I” or “me”) and my conjugal partner (the Party of the Second Part, hereinafter referred to as “Mamma”), being then attired in our respective
    Nocturnal headgear (e.g. a kerchief and cap),
    had just retired for a sustained period of sleep appropriate to the season of
    Hibernal darkness (to wit: a long winter’s nap).
    When suddenly, and without prior notice or warning there did occur upon the unimproved portion of real estate adjacent and appurtenant to the said House (hereinafter the “curtilage” or “lawn”)
    Such a cacophony of dissonance (i.e. a loud “clatter”)
    that I felt compelled to arise from my place of repose to investigate the source of the disruption,
    In short, to see what was the matter.
    AND, WHEREAS, hastening to the casement, the Party of the First Part forthwith opened both the interior and exterior barriers that were
    Sealing that fenestration (e.g. the shutters and sash);
    And put my head out the window to find the source of the clash.
    Whereupon I observed that the exterior lunar brilliance, reflected by the topmost layer of a recent
    Crystalline precipitation commonly referred to as “snow”
    created a brightness almost equal to that of the solar
    Meridian, or “mid-day” to objects below;

    AND, WHEREAS, at that time I did observe,
    With mixed emotions of disbelief, wonder and fear,
    an unregistered and uninsured vehicle bearing no inspection sticker in the form of a miniature sleigh, with a broken tail light, and apparently propelled by eight (be it the same, more, or less) diminutive specimens
    Of the genus Rangifer (i.e. some tiny reindeer).
    The vehicle was operated by an aged chauffeur, small in stature,
    But so ebullient and nimble (in short, he was “quick”)
    that it became instantly apparent to me that he was for certain,
    Our anticipated caller to wit: Old Saint Nick.
    AND, WHEREAS, the said St. Nick (a/k/a Santa Claus) was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the said reindeer (reflecting that they were, at all relevant times, acting within the course and scope of their employment,
    And not as independent contractors for same).
    And he addressed his animal co-conspirators
    Individually and collectively by name:
    “Now, Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen! [Upon information and belief, there was also a ninth unindicted co-conspirator identified only by the street name of “Rudolph”, who remains a person of interest.]
    “To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
    Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

    Whereupon the said Santa Clause and the vehicle (which was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items, including containers of substances of unknown nature, quality or origin), and the aforementioned reindeer did willfully and intentionally, with malice aforethought, trespass upon the uppermost
    Exterior level of our abode, to wit: the roof,
    through which structure I could readily distinguish the audible concatenations of their thirty-two individual cloven pedal extremities
    (i.e.: the prancing and pawing of each little hoof);
    AND, WHEREAS, as I was diverting my full focus and attention from the exterior of the premises to the interior, the said Santa Claus (hereinafter referred to as “Claus”) did suddenly, and without prior invitation or permission,
    Either express or implied, enter the House via the flue.
    Said Claus was clad in a disguise or costume made entirely from the dyed animal pelts of protected and endangered species and which, being soiled
    With the residue from said chimney, was no longer new.
    He was, at all times, in exclusive possession and control of a large cloth receptacle containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys and containers of unknown substances,
    Which he easily carried, alone, on his back,
    and he looked suspiciously like a street vendor
    From 42nd and Broadway, just opening his pack;

    AND, WHEREAS, the Party of the First Part observed that Claus’s eyes would not have passed a field sobriety test in that they twinkled. Moreover, Claus’s facial expressions
    (i.e. “dimples”) appeared overly joyful or merry.
    As further evidence of his state of being, Claus’s cheeks were very red, almost like roses; and his nose, (having perhaps been exposed to some of the aforementioned unknown substances)
    Was likewise inflamed like a cherry.
    The Party of the First Part, after reasonable investigation, is without knowledge or information sufficient to explain why the said Claus’s
    Droll mouth had the appearance of a decorative bow,
    or why the extended hair growth under his chin
    Could likewise be said to be white as the snow.
    He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco
    From within a small pipe,
    And, in blatant disregard of local ordinances and health regulations, was discharging
    Clouds of second-hand smoke, despite all the hype;

    AND, WHEREAS, without making any utterance, Claus thereafter proceeded forthwith to deposit samples of the aforementioned packages, toys, and containers of unknown substances into the stockings
    Of the minor children of our abode,
    which gratuitous actions did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minors
    Within the meaning of the provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.

    NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE KNOWN BY THESE “PRESENTS” that, upon completion of such task, Claus touched his finger to the side of his
    Previously mentioned, and still inflamed nose,
    and ascended and/or flew up the chimney, by some means, device, or methodology unknown to your affiant.
    Suffice it to say that he “rose”
    to the top of the house where the get-away vehicle and reindeer were waiting
    Or serving as “lookouts” up on the roof,
    From which location he proceeded to depart, with a “poof.”
    And, without having first obtained FAA approval of his flight
    or any clearances for travel to his next intended destination, whether foreign or domestic,
    Said Claus and the reindeer disappeared in the night.

    But, immediately prior to the departure of the said vehicle, reindeer, and Claus from the scene, and without having first requested to speak with an attorney, Claus voluntarily made an audible statement in the nature of an excited utterance
    Not barred by the Hearsay Rule, as was his right:
    “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

    Sworn and subscribed to me
    This 25th day of December, etc….

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