Road Trip Dad - An RTD Christmas Tradition:
“Twas the Night for Lax Santa”
Dan Witmer | December 21, 2020
Merry Christmas, everyone!

This cute RTD take-off on a Christmas classic first appeared back in December of 2012. I think this is the sixth time I’ve re-posted it since. Please forgive the lack of creativity this week, but after all, aren’t all Holidays built upon certain traditions?

According to the website  www.carols.org.uk, “Twas the night before Christmas” was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore and is also known as “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Moore didn’t take credit for the poem until 1844, some 22 years after writing it.

In a daring and risky move, I am taking credit for this spin on his classic, targeted for the lax parent – and lax child – in all of us. I hope you enjoy it.

“Twas the Night for Lax Santa”

Twas the night for Lax Santa, when all through my house
The laptop was shut off, even the mouse.
Junior’s equipment bag was hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Lax Santa soon would be there.

He was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of neon lax swag danced in his head.
With ma in her jammies, and me in my sweats,
We’d just settled down for a warm winter’s rest.

When out in the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.
Away to a window I stumbled over some clutter,
Tore open the curtain and opened the shutter.

The moon in the sky just lit up the snow,
And gave it some luster, making everything glow
. When, what made my wondering eyes suddenly stop,
But a gigantic delivery truck, with a stick rack on top!

There was a little old driver, with a distinct little canter,
I knew in a moment - it must be Lax Santa!
More rapid than eagles his toadies all came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now Tierney! Now, Berkman! Now, Ryan, and Desko!
On, Nadelen! On, Toomey! On, Sheehan, and Petro!
Put down those sticks! There’s no time for wall ball!
Now dash away! Dash away! 40-yard dash away all!"

As muddy fields brought us the new season each year,
Now we have Field-Turf, and fields that are clear.
Well, those lackeys to our doorstep they did stop,
With the truck full of lax gear, filled to the top.

And then, amid silence, I heard in the yard
The grunting and groaning; they were working so hard.
I drew in my head, and was turning around,
When there at the door, twas Lax Santa I found!

He was dressed in red Gore-Tex, from his head to his toe,
”This stuff is awesome,” he said, “in the rain and the snow!”
A bag of equipment he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a vendor, just opening his pack.

His eyes, how they twinkled! His hair, it was graying.
His cheeks were like roses, looked like he had just finished playing.
A little out of breath, moving a little slow,
The fake beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

With his travel mug still steaming in his red little hand,
The smoke it encircled his head like a band.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a nice jolly old man,
I laughed when he faced me. Why – it was Richie Moran!
He gave me a wink and a wave of his glove,
So he was Lax Santa, the guy everyone loved!

He told jokes, asked about friends we both knew,
Filled Junior’s lax bag, and left me some stuff, too.
Then he gave me some cold gear, said, “This is for the missus.”
All in all, it made for a very nice Christmas!

He jogged out to his truck, gave his team a quick whistle,
and they scrambled aboard amid a cold, light drizzle.
Then I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas, justlacrosse readers, and to all, a good-night!"

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and best wishes to JustLacrosse and RTD readers everywhere!

How’s this for a different New Year’s Resolution? In what has become another Road Trip Dad tradition at the end of each year, here’s my annual plug for readers to consider getting involved with the game by getting certified to referee.

Sure, the future is nothing but question marks right now, but why not resolve to get certified as a lacrosse official in 2021? You can attend training classes and be ready to start working games when they return this spring. And you won’t be certified to just officiate scholastic games; you’ll also be able to work weekend tournaments, summer leagues, fall tournaments, and more.

Here’s contact information for officials’ associations all over Upstate NY. If you don’t see anything from your particular area, I’ve also included a link to US Lacrosse’s website for officials. If all else fails, you can also try a quick Google search, which will probably do the trick.

Western NY  -   Niagara Frontier Lacrosse Officials Association (NFLOA)    - Tom Sutton tom_sutton@kindermorgan.com

Rochester area -  Genesee Valley Lacrosse Officials Association (GVLOA)    - Steve Nims steve.nims@tr.com

Syracuse area -  Central New York Lacrosse Officials Association (CNYLOA) – Jim Diamond diamondjim@me.com

Albany area -  Capital District Lacrosse Officials Association (CDLOA)    - Pat Cadin - cadin@juno.com or cdloa@ymail.com

US Lacrosse -    https://www.uslacrosse.org/officials

That’s it for this week. Please, please, please – drive carefully, and put down that cell phone!

Stay safe, stay smart, and stay kind. Happy Holidays!

- Dan Witmer daniel.witmer@oswego.edu

Dan Witmer is the author of two books.  The Best of Road Trip Dad – the Laker Lacrosse Collection  is an accumulation of 45 articles written for JustLacrosseUpstate between the years 2012 and 2018, about the history and traditions, the people, and the stories of the Oswego State men’s lacrosse program. The book is available on Amazon.com, and at the river’s end bookstore in Oswego, the SUNY Oswego College Store in the Marano Campus Center, The Sports Outfit on West Genesee Street in Fairmount, and Geared 2 Sports in Cortland.  ...and piles to go before I sleep - The Book of Wit  is his memoir describing his 33 year career teaching HS English and coaching at Hannibal Central School. It is available on Amazon.com and at the river's end bookstore.