Major Pain writes:
"This is an old poem; been around for at least 10 years or so. I have never seen an author attributed to it. Every Christmas, at least one of my friends finds it again and sends it to me. I can truly understand this soldier as I, too, end up spending many holidays alone. The opening of gifts Christmas morning is a substitute for my family. The togetherness and just being a part of a family group I miss so sorely. (That's why I resist the "Let's buy only ONE gift for ONE relative this year" plan).
Like Mom, I love Christmas and always intended to celebrate with my husband and 6 children. Well, as life turned out I don't have that family to celebrate with and miss so much the big to-do of Christmas - it's hard to make a big to-do when you are living alone, so this substitutes for my family. It's how I have my family around me as I unwrap their gifts Christmas day!
Pathetic huh? - Its why I've always preferred lots of little gifts, instead one big expensive one or something - I LIKE unwrapping and seeing what's inside. I LIKE the love that *poofs* out of the gift as I unwrap it. I like choosing and wrapping the perfect little something - of course half the time I'm too busy to shop - but I try. And it's such a disappointment when it takes 2 minutes to unwrap your one gift - and you're done... *sniff, whine*
Sorry about that! Had to vent a bit. Spending the holidays in a war zone - bummer.
ANYWAY, Could you post it at the appropriate time on your blog?
A Soldier's Night Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone.
In a no bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
And to see just who, in this small house did live.
I looked all about, a sad sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents; not even a tree.
By the mantle, no stockings; by the door, boots on sand.
On the wall hung some pictures of a far distant land.
Seeing medals and badges, awards of all kind,
No thoughts of Christmas would stay in my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark; it was dreary,
I'd found the house of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in this no bedroom home.
The face was gentle, the room in disorder;
Not how I'd pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I had read?
Curled up on a poncho, just the floor for his bed?
I knew most the families I'd see on this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.
Soon, round the world, the children would play,
And grownups enjoy a bright Christmas day.
They all had their freedom each month of the year,
Because of these soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On this cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
The thought of their service brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knee 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, silent and still,
And both of us shivered from that cold night's chill.
I hated to leave, on that long, dark night,
This Guardian of Peace, with his Honor so bright.
The soldier rolled over, and his voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on, Santa, all is secure."
I looked at this soldier, on this cold Christmas night.
I thought of his comrades, and knew he was right.
The world is freer, for they're willing to fight,
For Freedom and Christmas, and all that is right.
So to all you, my friends, to U.S. soldiers in all lands,
Know that you are remembered, by family and friends.
For this one special night, may you rest without fight,
With a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!
Remember our Men and Women who won't be by our sides this Holiday Season.
But they will always be in our hearts and minds.
(For our Visitors: This verse is based upon a treasured American poem about the mythical Santa Claus, "Twas the Night Before Christmas")