May 2023 was my first time visiting New Orleans, Louisiana. On my last day in the city, I decided to go to a souvenir shop. This shop had books. I purchased a gumbo cookbook and some t-shirts. While I was waiting for my family members to select their own souvenirs, I read Cajun Night Before Christmas.
Since this book was Christmas themed, it had a loop on the corner so you could hang it on a Christmas tree.
What caught my eye was the cover. Santa didn’t have reindeer pulling his sleigh. Instead, he had alligators. I had to find out what this story was about.
This book is an adaptation of a widely known American poem, “The Night Before Christmas. Most scholars believe Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem. Another person claimed to have written it although there isn’t concrete proof.
This poem later became a well-loved children’s book with the same name. I was curious how this book had been adapted.
Santa’s name stayed the same for the most part. In the text, he was called “St. Nick” or “St. Nicklus.” Although the spelling of the second name is different, the reader knows it’s Santa.
How did Santa roll up to houses? He was riding a skiff, which is a flat-bottomed boat. He had alligators pulling the skiff.
Also, the author had jokes. I found a few lines amusing.
An’ his clothes is all dirty
Wit’ ashes an’ soot
A sack full o’playt’ing
He t’row on his back
He looked like a burglar
An’ das fo’ a fack.
Think about it. Someone coming down the chimney of houses is definitely giving off burglar vibes.
Less you think that was all…read this other description.
His eyes how dey shine
His dimple, how merry!
Mayber he been drink
De wine from blackberry.
His cheek was like rose
His nose like a cherry
On secon’ ‘tought maybe
He lap up de sherry.
It was the author questioning everything about Santa that had me so amused.
If you want to read an adaptation of a classic Christmas story, I suggest you read Cajun Night Before Christmas. You won’t be disappointed.