T'was the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic energy was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus Musculus.
Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific St. Nicholas.
The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.
My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness, when upon the arenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance, that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.
Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself -- thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble it became instantly apparent to me that he was our anticipated caller.
With his ungulate motive power traveling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic acclaim predicates, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen -- "On Dasher, on Prancer....." et al. -- guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.
As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180 degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved, with utmost celerity and via a downward leap, entry by way of the smoke passage.
He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels, which had accumulated on the walls of said pathway. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings, which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.
His visual input centers were scintillating with the reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of albino's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus Avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and supra- labials resembled nothing so much as a loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small tabular, and columnar crystals of frozen water.
Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose gray fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impected fruit syrup in a hemispherical container.
He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigeniarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By swiftly lowering, then elevating one eyelid and rotating his cranium slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.
Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned hosiery from that dorsally transported woven container. Upon completion of this task, he executed an about-face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating(in reverse) the smoke passage.
He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement heretofore observable chiefly among the seed bearing portions of a common weed.
But I overheard his vocalization beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to the selfsame assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubrious, beneficial, and gratifying, pleasurable period between sunset and the dawn.!"
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