Merry Christmas

As I write this post, Santa has already begun his annual mission to bring joy to children (young and old) around the World.

For many reasons, this is a difficult job for Santa.  Not only is it an overwhelming challenge to deliver presents to all of those on his ‘Nice‘ list in a 24-hour period, but it is also difficult to ensure that all of those who receive the gifts of the season truly feel the Christmas Spirit.  Bringing a Merry Christmas to the entire World may seem insurmountable, but I have faith that Santa will be victorious to ensure that everyone is living in harmony with the Christmas Spirit.

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“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”

Roy L. Smith[i]

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I want to wish all of my blog and Twitter friends a very Merry Christmas.  May the joy of this season and the Christmas Spirit reach your heart and your home this day, and everyday.  Having friends like you during this special time of year has certainly delivered joy to me.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.  And, as you enjoy the Christmas season, please take a moment to remember our men and women serving our Country around the World, and pray that they may feel the Christmas Spirit also.

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Twas the night before Christmas in Afghanistan[iii-a]

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Military Christmas Poem           (as heard in the video above)

‘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 The 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 Such Disorder,
Not How I Pictured
A United States 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.”

Written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986. Printed in Leatherneck (The Magazines for the Marines) in December 1991, under the title “Merry Christmas, My Friend.”[ii]

Also known as “A Soldier’s Silent Night”[iii-b]

Share on Twitter

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Related Post -

Merry Christmas (commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com)

A Soldier’s Christmas | A Different Christmas Poem (billericapolitics.org)

Footnote -

[i] Roy L. Smith. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved December 24, 2012, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/roy_l_smith.html
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/citation/quotes/authors/r/roy_l_smith.html#gVohdkFyMKDWeWHj.99

[ii] Military Christmas Poem – Posted by  - About.com / US Military – http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/a/xmaspoem.htm - Accessed December 24, 2012 – About.com Guide (US Military) – http://usmilitary.about.com/ - About.com Guide – http://www.about.com/

[iii-a,b] The poem spoken in the video is known as “A Soldier’s Silent Night,” written originally by Marine Corps Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986 (see note to poem within this post, and footnote [ii]).  It is narrated by Father Ted Berndt.  A Soldier’s Silent Nighthttp://www.asoldiersilentnight.com/ - Accessed December 24, 2012

*Another video version of A Soldier’s Silent Night can be found at the post Soldier’s Silent Night on the blog Fellowship of the Minds.

Photo Credit -

Santa - Dave Kenyon and his blog Insights Incites Change, on the post Living in Harmony with The Christmas Spirit; accessed on Monday, December 24, 2012

Soldier -  Fetrow Creations website - http://www.fetrowcreations.com/ - Accessed December 24, 2012

4 Responses to “Merry Christmas”

  1. Doesn’t get any better than this. I would like to see the original version before it was broadened to apply to ‘soldiers’ rather than ‘marines’.

  2. Merry Christmas to you as well, Dale. And thank you for the love, the respect and the kindness you show toward our military. That is the best gift anyone can give to those who fight for the rest of us.

  3. [...] Related post: Merry Christmas, Command Performance Leadership [...]

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