'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the stars
Not a creature was stirring, not even on Mars.
The space boots were hung by the airlock with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The robots were nestled all snug on their tires,
As visions of upgrades danced through their wires;
Mom put on her headset while I counted prime numbers,
We had settled our brains for a long winter's slumber,
When out on the dome there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my sack to see what was the matter.
Away to the porthole I flew like a flash,
And tore open the air filter with a great clash.
The moons on the crest of a new volcano,
Gave an alien luster to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a small UFO, and eight rocket reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than light, his rockets they came,
And he whistled, and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Saturn! now, Sputnik! now, Titan and Atlas!
On, Redstone! on, Delta! Apollo, Polaris!
To the top of the dome! to the top of the wall!
Now blast away! blast away! blast away all!"
As meteors blaze through the heavens up high,
When they meet with the atmosphere and burn in the sky,
So up to the dome-top the rockets they flew,
With a ship full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling, I felt on the ceiling
The heat of the thrusters and landing tiles peeling.
As I covered my head, and was turning around,
Through the airlock old Santa Claus came with a bound.
He was dressed all in plastics, from his feet to his head,
And his clothes were all covered in dust that was red;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a scientist opening his pack.
His visor- how it twinkled! his filter how scary!
His gloves were from Earth, the logos quite merry!
His space boots, how costly! they played songs and glowed!
The frost on his suit was as cold as Pluto;
The stump of his air tube held tight in his teeth,
And oxygen swirled round his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a nod of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the space boots; then turned with a jerk,
And spreading his fingers just like Dr. Spock,
He quietly exited out the airlock.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a high flying missile.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
Copyright: Gail Koske Phillips and Patrick Koske-McBride
'The atomic bomb ... made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is different country.'