The Night Before Christmas
T’was 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 I did see: no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand; on the wall hung pictures of far 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 home of a soldier, at once
I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping; silent, alone, curled up on the floor, in this one bedroom home. Not how I pictured a US soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read, curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw 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 continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both 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.
Then 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.”