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MONTPELIER — With tree lightings and other traditional gatherings canceled by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions this year, Gov. Phil Scott and 12 other state officials have recorded poetry readings to celebrate the winter holidays.

The Holiday Poetry Celebration is an 18-minute program produced by the Vermont Department of Libraries. It can be seen at

"We hope that these poems and stories light up and enrich your lives, even during these dark times, State Librarian & Commissioner of Libraries Jason Broughton says in his introduction.

The video includes:

  • "Christmas Mail" by Ted Kooser, read by Secretary Susanne Young, Agency of Administration;
  • "Big Brown Moose" by Joyce Sidman, read by Secretary Anson Tebbetts, Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets;
  • "The Shortest Day" by Susan Cooper, read by Secretary Lindsay Kurrle, Agency of Commerce & Community Development;
  • "Snow Day" by Billy Collins, read by Secretary Dan French, Agency of Education;
  • "Stopping by the Woods" by Rick Bessette, read by Secretary Julie Moore, Agency of Natural Resources;
  • "Winter Morning Poem" by Ogden Nash, read by Secretary Joe Flynn, Agency of Transportation;
  • "Christmas Greetings" by Anonymous, read by Commissioner Mike Pieciak, Department of Financial Regulation;
  • "December 26" by Kenn Nesbitt, read by Commissioner Michael Harrington, Department of Labor;
  • "The Bunnies and the Snowman/Los Conejitos Y El Muñeco de Nieve" by Maria Alonso Santamaría, read in Spanish by Executive Director for Racial Equity Xusana Davis;
  • "What Do the Trees Know?" by Joyce Sidman, read by Scott's chief of staff, Jason Gibbs;
  • "Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem" by Dr. Maya Angelou, read by Scott's general counsel, Jaye Johnson; and
  • "Christmas Eve" by Nikki Grimes, read by Director of Policy Development and Legislative Affairs Kendal Smith.

In a separate video, Scott reads Clement Moore's "Twas the Night Before Christmas." That video can be seen at

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Gov. Phil Scott reads Clement Moore's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."


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