I was thinking of writing an "Agile Christmas Carol" or some blogs on learning lessons from reviewing how making toys in Santa's workshop is one of the best examples of Agile processes in the world and they still meet the deadline every year so Agile clearly does work.
But after much thought I realised that Christmas is such a magical time that it's real purpose is to spend more time thinking of important things - especially my family - and getting a break from trying to convince people that less control really does mean that you can get the best out of everyone.
So I'd like to thank everyone whose contributed to Keeping Agile Simple this year and look forward to working with you all in 2012. There's so much more we can do to take Agile forward without defining processes, systems or generally making it more complicated that it needs to be.
And as it's Christmas I'd like to share Clement Clarke Moore's poem (sometimes attributed to Henry Livingstone) for two reasons. One because I was taught it by my Grandmother, another character I've mentioned in these blogs before, and second to prove that there were only EIGHT reindeer originally (in the 1823 poem) and Rudolf wasn't added to the myth until 1939 by Robert May for the Montgomery Ward Department Stores in a book that they gave away to children in a PR campaign.
Knowing this poem has helped me win a number of Christmas Quiz rounds at our local bar where "Name Santa's reindeer" is a common seasonal question. Indeed my daughter, now studying at Birmingham City University, won their local bar contest my naming all of the reindeer successfully. However, they incorrectly insisted all NINE original reindeer had to be named - clearly standards are dropping in our great educational establishments!
So a Merry Christmas to all of our readers and enjoy again the very best of Christmas stories.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.Away to the window I flew like a flash,Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
"To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!"Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!