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Celebrating the holiday -- Hays style

Following the writing style of the beloved " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem, I had created this adaptation last year for our December chamber newsletter. Just as this poem had shaped our culture's vision of Santa Claus centuries ago, my hope is to remind area consumers of the importance of supporting our local economy through the holidays.

On behalf of the Hays Chamber of Commerce, Merry Christmas to all and a prosperous New Year.

'Twas the month of December and all through Hays;

Everyone was stirring, like mice through a maze.

The garland was hung on the storefronts with care,

In hopes that the customers would choose to shop there.

The stores were all dressed in Christmas greens and reds,

While visions of record sales danced in merchant's heads.

The customers were ready to decorate their trees,

As snow fell down in a soft winter breeze.

The FrostFest parade made the community proud,

As the brightly lit floats dazzled the crowd.

Along the store windows, noses pressed to the glass,

Children waited gleefully for Santa to pass.

The festivities continued out in the mall,

Giving holiday shoppers ideas to wow all.

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,

But a sneak peek of Santa and all of his gear!

Now Main Street, now Vine Street, now north of I-70,

On Buyers! On Shoppers! Spend more of your money!

To the top of your list and with all of your might,

Shop now! Shop now! Shop now through the night!

It's the day after Christmas, the presents unwrapped

Children playing with toys; parents totally sapped.

But all through the town, the local merchants praise,

"Thank you for purchasing your gifts here in Hays!"

Tammy Wellbrock is executive director of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce.