Getting Into the Christmas Spirit: Shawn Thornton Reads 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'

By Emma Harger
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Generally at this time of year, Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins should be out on the ice, dropping the gloves with players who have been placed on his naughty list. Since that is not an option yet (Santa, please bring us an NHL season!), and because Thornton is still in the area as a year-round resident of Boston, the Boston Pops invited him over for a holiday treat.

For opening night of their holiday concert, Holiday Pops, the orchestra provided accompaniment while Thornton read the classic tale “Twas the Night Before Christmas” on stage. Thornton looked very proper and done up in a nice suit with black tie, joining Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart and the whole crew for his reading.

By way of introducing Thornton, Lockhart must have made some reference to how many fights Thornton had last season. It’s cut off from the video below, but when Thornton comes out, he points out that he got into 20 fights, “but who’s counting?” He also jokes about Lockhart’s baton reminding him of high-sticking, so Lockhart kindly puts it away before striking up the accompaniment.

Aside from one slight change–I’ve often heard it as “settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,” but Thornton reads “had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,” which does sound a little less strange–Thornton reads it perfectly and gets a big round of applause. It’s a nice little nugget of Christmas joy. Check it out:

This is definitely not the first time hockey players have shown a little Christmas spirit. Here, the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings cover that Mariah Carey chestnut “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Some of the players aren’t very well-versed in lip-synching, but that’s okay.

Over in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Giants do the same thing:

The Chicago Blackhawks like to get into the holiday spirit too. (One can only imagine what videos they would make this season if they were together right now!) Here’s a pretend infomercial for a Blackhawks Christmas CD:

And their youngest correspondent, Joey the Junior Reporter:

The San Jose Sharks also decided to make a CD–or, rather, a cassette or 8-track tape:

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