The Night Before Christmas


‘Twas the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone
In a one bedroom house
Made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney
With presents to give,
And to see just who
In this home did live.

I looked all about,
A strange sight did I see ...
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree!


No stockings by the mantle,
Just boots filled with sand;
On the wall hung pictures
Of far and distant lands.

With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds ...
A sober thought came
Through my mind.


For this house was different ...
It was dark and dreary;
I found the house of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone ...
Curled upon the floor
In this one bedroom home.


The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder;
Not how I pictured
A United States soldier.

Was this the hero
Of whom I just read?
Curled up on a poncho ...
The floor for a bed?


I realized the families
I saw on this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers,
Who were willing to fight.

Soon ‘round the world
The children would play;
And grownups would celebrate
A bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.


I couldn't help wonder
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve,
In a land far from home.

The very thought
Brought a tear to my eye;
I dropped to my knees
And started to cry.


The soldier awakened
And I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry,
This life is my choice.

I fight for freedom,
I don't ask for more;
My life is my God,
My country, my Corps."

The soldier rolled over
And drifted to sleep;
I couldn't control it ...
I started to weep.


I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still;
And we both just shivered
From the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave
On that cold, dark night,
This Guardian of Honor ...
So willing to fight.

The soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on, Santa!
It's Christmas Day ... all is secure."


One look at my watch
And I knew he was right;
Merry Christmas, my friend,
And to all a Good Night!

~ Author Unknown ~


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