The Bears Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the cave,
Young bears were excited and would not behave.

Mama Bear groaned, scolding “Listen to me!
Settle down now or you won’t see that tree.”

The cubs scooted into the corner and sat.
They always paid heed when she grumbled like that.

But soon they were bored, so they started to fight,
They sparred and they roughhoused with brutish delight.

Til out in the glen, birds tweeted with glee.
It was finally ready – the new Christmas tree!

The little bears scampered outside in the snow
Where the moon cast its light with a soft gentle glow.

“Slow down boys!” warned Mama, “Remember the laws?
No snarling or growling, no teeth and no claws!”

The grandest of fir trees stood glistening with ice
As pinecones and berries were hung by the mice.

Squirrels and wolves, rabbits and deer
Greeted each other with holiday cheer.

The cubs were impatient. “Is it now? Is it? When?”
“Just wait,” whispered Mama, “or back to the den!”

Side by side they all lingered, hopeful and still
With warmth in their hearts despite winter’s deep chill.

One star in the East grew large and shone bright
As birds and beasts hushed on this one blessed night.

The sounds of a chorus and harp filled the air.
An answer had come to the animals’ prayer.

The miracle happened. A new Savior’s birth!
Peace spread through the forest, the meadow, the earth.

Mama Bear sighed – from her cubs, not a peep!
They’d curled up together and fallen asleep.

As always, my thanks to Susanna Hill for sponsoring this fun holiday challenge on her blog.  The rules were to draft your own version of Clement C. Moore’s traditional poem, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.  Entries were to be at least 12 lines/3 stanzas, not to exceed 40 lines/10 stanzas referring to winter or any winter holiday.  There are many wonderful entries to this challenge, and I encourage you to click the links, read aloud, and enjoy the fun!


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at or Twitter @catballoumealey
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16 Responses to The Bears Before Christmas

  1. mybabyjohn says:

    A lovely reminder of the reason for the season.

  2. Joanna says:

    Cathy, what a beautiful scene. I love the balance between the boisterous cubs and the peace the birth brings at the end. Very visual poem. Well done!

  3. From the first line to the last, it was a joy. I love how you wove Jesus in there. It has been fun reading all the entries.

  4. Miranda Paul says:

    This was wonderful! Nice storyline and the rhythm and rhyme were spot-on. I enjoyed reading this entry. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

  5. Wow!!!! Great rhythm and really nice story!

  6. You’ve done it again, Cathy! Another fabulous entry 🙂 I love the beauty of the scene, the realism of over-excited youngsters, and the reminder of what the season is all about. Great job!

  7. This is a beautiful piece. I too like the way it goes from rambunctious to peaceful. Such vivid imagery too!

  8. Donna Martin says:

    What a beautifully written poem! Almost makes me ashamed to have entered my little poem…lol…good luck!

  9. Cathy, your poem is awe-some! I love love it!! 🙂

  10. thegracefuldoe says:

    You set the scene so well. I love how it ties in with the birth of Christ, it was an unexpected and lovely surprise.

  11. jama says:

    LOVE this! So well written. *thunderous applause*

  12. Tracy Bermeo says:

    This sounds like my kids! I love the rhythm and the visuals of the bears traveling through the woods. Excellent entry!

  13. Cathy Mealey says:

    Thank you for leaving such nice comments. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

    It’s been so much fun to read all 28 (and counting!) entries in Susanna’s contest, as well as the supportive and encouraging commentary from fellow entrants and readers. It’s a lovely feeling to be part of such a nice writing community!

    Whatever you choose to celebrate at this time of year, I hope it is marvelous and joyful!

  14. Natalie says:

    This is so well done, Cathy. Your writing is very polished already! Great Job! I am so blown away by all of the talented writers that entered this contest. 🙂 Wow!

  15. I love the way you wove the animals into the Christmas story…well done! “Brutish delight” Great word picture.

  16. Catherine Johnson says:

    This is beautiful Cathy, I can picture it in a picture book right away. Merry Christmas!

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