‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
The oven was going, and so was my spouse;
The gifts were all wrapped, stacked under the tree,
Too many to count, more than the eye could see;
The children engrossed with yesterday’s toys,
Too excited for rest, awaiting tomorrow’s joys;
And mom in her apron, and I in my Santa’s cap,
Bustling around without time for a nap;
When alongside the house there arose such a clatter,
I sprang into action to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Rolled open the blinds and threw up the sash.
The moon as the backdrop of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes did appear,
A small stream of smoke rising up from so near;
You gotta’ be kidding–no, it’s no joke,
I knew in a moment, the darned furnace is broke.
More rapid than eagles my curses they came,
And I ranted, and shouted, and called them by name;
“You blasted old stinker! You big piece of crap!
Oh, dang it; it’s stupid, needs a swift foot tap!”
To the top of my limits! To the top of my lungs!
I scream in disgust while speaking in tongues!
As four letter words from my mouth how they fly,
My tools I must get for our visitors are nigh;
So down to the garage my feet how they flew,
With the heater to fix, aft’ fourteen years ‘twas due.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a door slam,
Must be the ‘Olds of sweet Pap and Gram.
As I paused for a moment, there came a thought,
Of an early time when I was just a tot:
I was dressed in my best, from my head to my feet,
Awaiting Christmas joy in a house that had heat.
A bundle of toys Dad flung on his back,
In a cheap Santa suit, as if from Cracker Jack.
My eyes — how they twinkled! My grin from ear to ear,
I knew I’d get what I’d wished again this year!
But one must have endured the crowd at the stores,
And negotiated the traffic as if in World Wars;
At the drop of a dime, a million was spent,
With gifts to spare yet short on the rent;
As for all the grub, there’s a surplus for sure,
Hungry as a horse, last meal was at four;
Then up to bed for Santa’s to come,
To rise before dawn to restart the fun;
More gift, more food, more camaraderie,
More blessed than if we’d hit the lottery!
That’s when it hit me, there are people without,
Have we forgotten what this thing’s all about?
The greatest gift, God sent His Son,
Not only for me but for everyone.
I dropped to my knees, forgiveness I seek,
I felt in my heart, the Lord about to speak:
“Go in peace my dear child, sin no further,
But share my gift with the least of these your brother!”
by Brian Shaw
(Assimilated from the original by Clement Clarke Moore)
Remember the reason for the season, and be sure to remind someone else as well!