12/24/2003

TWAS the night before Christmas

THIS IS THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS
IN A LAND FULL OF SAND
AND BLOOD AND OIL, AND GREED OF MAN
IT REMINDS US CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS
SO THAT WE WILL BE READY TO FIGHT THE EVIL FROM WITHIN


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'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 I DID SEE:
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY 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 A HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING--
SILENT, ALONE--
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN DISORDER;
NOT HOW I PICTURED !
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHO 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 THIS SOLDIER
WHO WAS WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON 'ROUND THE WORLD
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOY 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 CO! ULDN'T CONTROL IT;
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FO! R 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
AND WITH A VOICE, SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON, SANTA.
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL'S SECURE."

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT."

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THEN SANTA PROCEEDED
TO THE CHILD-PRINCE HOME
THOUSANDS OF PRESENTS THERE
MORE YET TO COME

AS SANTA LOOKED
THE CHILD-PRINCE BATHED IN OIL
BLACK AS HIS SOUL, OILY AS HIS WORDS
SUCH FOUL BATH, YET THE CHILD-PRINCE REJOICED

'BRING IT ON', HE CRIED
I WANT MORE, MORE THAN I HAVE
FOR IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH
AS LONG AS SOMEONE ELSE HAS IT

BUT WAIT, THE BLACK OIL IS TAINTED
RED, BRIGHT AS A RUBY, THICKER THAN OIL
A DROP OF BLOOD GLISTENED
BLOOD OF THE SOLDIER, SOAKING THE SANDY SOIL

SANTA DROPPED HIS HEAD TO HIS HANDS
'YOU TOLD ME SOLDIER, THIS IS YOUR WISH
YET I CAN NOT ABIDE SEEING THIS
YOU ARE LIKE A TOY SOLDIER TO THIS CHILD-LIKE PRINCE
HIS THIRST FOR MORE WILL HURT YOU AND MANY MORE LIVES'

SO SANTA DECIDED THEN AND THERE
TO SWITCH THE SOLDIER WITH THE PRINCE
AND LEAVE THEN AS THEY WERE

UPON AWAKENING IN A BLODDY OIL BATH
THE SOLDIER HAD NO CHOICE OTHER THAN WAIT
WAIT FOR HIS CITIZENS TO RESCUE HIM FROM THERE
FOR HE COULD NOT FIGHT HIS OWN PRINCE WHO BETRAYED HIM

THE CHILD-PRINCE AWAKENED CRYING FOR SERVANTS, 'I NEED MORE OIL','I DON'T LIKE THIS SANDS'
UPON REALIZING HE WAS ALL ALONE
THE CHILD-PRINCE WET HIS PANTS AND BEGGED TO GO HOME

BUT SANTA, UNMOVED, LEFT THINGS AS THEY WERE
FOR SUCH A NAUGHTY CHILD DESERVED THIS AND WORSE
A LUMP OF COAL PUNISHES CHILDLIKE SINS
A TON OF SAND AN BLOOD WOULD PUNISH HIS

SO THIS IS THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS
IN A LAND FULL OF SAND
AND BLOOD AND OIL, AND GREED OF MAN
IT REMINDS US CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS
SO THAT WE WILL BE READY TO FIGHT THE EVIL FROM WITHIN
"

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