Not ‘The Christmas Story’, but a Christmas Story Nonetheless

Blog Posting #618 @ 22 December 2020; Copyright 2020: EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

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I.

Not ‘The Christmas Story’, but a Christmas Story Nonetheless

Ever since spending Christmas 1968 at Landing Zone Stud, a tenuous Marine redoubt located a few miles east of infamous Khe Sanh forward combat base , in the Republic of South Vietnam, I’ve held a special place in my heart for this holiday – and purposed to never spend it alone, without family, again. To that end, most Christmases, I stop and reread the title-less and anonymous poetic tale that follows here.

‘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 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.
The soldier rolled over, and with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “Cary 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.”

There really isn’t anything further that needs to be said here. Yes, but we’re ending what’s been a difficult year for many people around the world, fighting coronavirus, enduring erraatic economies, and some still seeking employment. But we’re enjoying a semblance of world peace, almost everywhere. So, join me today, expressing thanks to God for what we do have, and hope for a much different and improved New Year. GFA

***
George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

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