A(n Energy Efficient) Night Before Christmas

It seems like every one and their brother has a Night Before Christmas parody. Mine appeared in fragments on Twitter a short while ago, during an odd moment of creative inspiration, and would’ve been completely lost to Twistory, had it not been for my good friend Sean Lintow Sr. capturing it. So, with only some minor editorial adjustments, here it is, in all its glory:

Santa And Squirrel

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a squirrel was stirring, nor even a mouse.

My beer cans were stacked on the mantel with care,

In hope that Saint (John) Nicholas wouldn’t waste my time, once he got there.

I put down my Nexus, after checking NORAD’s radar map,

Then settled on the couch for a post bourbon nap.

When suddenly from the attic, there arose such a clatter,  I dropped Nate Adam’s

The Home Comfort Book, so I could see what was the matter.

With an old Revere lantern, and a tri-corner hat,

I swiftly scaled the attic stairs, despite my Thanksgiving Day fat.

And what to my bloodshot eyes should appear, but Allison Bailes in a sleigh,

Pulled by thirteen squirrel-reindeer!

“Your fiberglass batts are improperly laid,

“And your leaky old duct work is in need of many band-aids.

“Your flues are so dirty, there could well be a fire,

“And with ambient CO levels so high, you’re soon to expire.

Dirty Airwashed Fiberglass Batts

“But it’s the season for giving, that’s all I can say.

“So you’re getting a home energy retrofit, and we’re starting today.”

Then Elf Building Geek Smith got his blower door out,

And brandishing an infrared camera, shouted “test in, and test out!”

While Elf Energy Smart Adams sealed leaks with an odd spraying foam,

And prepped hoses and blowers outside my poor home.

They drilled ‘n filled my walls, despite my futile protestations,

‘Til Lead Elf Troast yelled “Get with the program, man — extreme conservation!”

When the elves were all done, my house was so tight,

I knew those Maxwellian demons were in for a fight!

And lo, Elf Tiny House Lunsford then proclaimed the truth:

“Behold now, how Possible IS The Proof!”

Then Allison jumped back into his sleigh,

And called his squirrel-reindeer off on their way:

“On Photon! On Schrodinger! On Sheldon! On Naked Guy!

“On Daniel! On Tina! On Paula! Take us on high!

“On Sean! On SplinterGirl! On jb! On Suzysak! On Brenda! Let’s fly!”

Crashing through the attic window, with flying splinters and lead paint,

Why, the sight of it all nearly caused me to faint!

And just before the sleigh flew well out of sight,

I heard Allison call out: “Energy efficiency to all, and to all a good night!”

Merry Christmas!

Santa Sleigh

About John Poole

My interests include historic homes, architectural preservation and restoration, improving the energy performance of old houses, and traditional timber frames.
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19 Responses to A(n Energy Efficient) Night Before Christmas

  1. John Nichol says:


    This was wonderful to watch it Tweet by Tweet; much better right now. So Questions:
    1) The Beer Cans must be a nice thing for Santa Bailles; wonder if bottles holding imported malt from the land of Golf would work?
    2) Which of those squirrels had a Red Nose?
    3) Did you get to keep any of the images from that Yellow Camera?

    John in Derby (KS)

    • John Poole says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks! And here are my answers to your questions:

      1) Yes, you’re right. In fact, I’d forgotten to mention it in the poem, but, in the same manner that many children place cookies and milk out for Santa, I’d left a bottle of vintage Glenfiddich and a glass on a side table for Santa Bailes (and a cigar, t00).

      2) Why, Rudolf the Red Nosed Squirrel, of course. He was a bit under the weather that night, or so I am told.

      3) No, I don’t have any myself, but the IR elf told me he’d be posting them on Home Energy Pros’ “Wall Of Shame” gallery any day now.

      Thanks for visiting and Merry Christmas, John!


  2. Oh, my. I’m Santa again, eh? My 9th grade English teacher tried to make me Santa for the play we were going to do on the last day before the Christmas holidays, so I feigned illness and missed school that day.

    I’ll happily be Santa in your version of The Night Before Christmas, though, John. My only request is that you remove Sheldon from the list my squirrel-reindeer. If you’re referring to the dweeb from that ridiculous show on TV, I want nothing to do with him.

    Nice job, John. I really did LOL, so when I RT this article, I won’t have to write SALTS (smiled a little, then stopped). I like the idea of elves doing Blower Door tests and thermal imaging, too!

    • John Poole says:

      Hi Santa Bailes,

      Clearly, you must’ve suffered from some sort of Santa anxiety back then. As for me, I was once (very, very long ago) pressed into being a department store Santa for a day when a friend of mine was sick and couldn’t make it. I was told “think about how disappointed the children will be”. So I did it. And man, I made for a lousy Santa Claus!

      Yes, the squirrel reindeer Sheldon was indeed named after the Big Bang Theory guy, but we can replace him, if it really bothers you.

      And yeah, I think elves could do a really great job retrofitting. They can easily fit into all those tight places that the rest of us can’t. And they work really, really fast!

      Thanks for the comments, and have a Merry Christmas!


  3. Amy Good says:

    I could certainly fill in for Rudolph…I’m always cold, so my nose is always red. Err…maybe that is why he wasn’t there. I tied him up with my cape. Why is my back suddenly itchy all the time and my ears are twitching?…must be that darned tail!

    • John Poole says:


      It could be that you’re suffering from squirrel-reindeer-transformational-itis, where you suddenly find yourself turning into a flying squirrel-reindeer! Any way, I’m thankful that you managed to guide the sleigh that night. As a result, I now have a warm home with no more ice damming, but plenty of extended roof raking in my future!

      And a Merry Christmas to you and the fam!


  4. Deanna says:

    We may have caught Rudolph and a few others fleeing the scene? http://ow.ly/86Vgy

  5. Deanna says:

    I did enjoy your poem — it was very clever! It’s good to see you’re Thinking Thermally this holiday season, too. Best wishes!

  6. Pingback: Updates, Happening’s, and hopefully a Little Festive Cheer for all… | The HTRC: Homeowner's & Trades Resource Center

  7. Paul says:

    Hilarious! I was following the night this was born on twitter.. so glad Sean captured it. What Christmas poem is complete without squirrel-reindeer!

    • John Poole says:

      Thanks, Paul! Glad you liked it! Yeah…squirrel-reindeer. What exactly would they look like, anyway? I envision otherwise normal squirrels, but with little antlers. And maybe little red wool wraps to keep them warm…and jingle bells! OK. I’m going too far with this and better stop now. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Paul!

  8. Bill Smith says:

    Somehow I think I may be beyond the elfin stage but what a wonderful group to be a part of!

  9. Nate Adams says:

    Love it! Thanks for sticking me in there. Now, can you help me get back to a more elvish weight? =)

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