Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


“What are you doing?” I asked without fear, “Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right, I’m out here by choice, I’m here every night.”


“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl’ on a day in December, “Then he sighed,

“That’s a Christmas ‘Gram’ always remembers.”


“My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’, And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.”


Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue… an American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home”.


“I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.”


“Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”


“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least, Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?”

“It seems all too little for all that you’ve done, For being away from your wife and your son.”


Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, “Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long.”


“For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • James Avant

    I also write poetry. I may not be good, for I write for my own pleasure. Some patriotic, some nostalgic. Also some odes. I had one published way back in the seventies. That one is my pride and joy. Would love to read some of yours. Just a Marine for life. They say the oldies are the goodies. God Bless and Semper Fi.

  • Greg Harrell

    This makes me swell with pride for my son. I am not a Marine but my 21 yr old son is. He hates when people thank him for his service, he says he has not done anything to deserve the thanks. He as had his first MEU and I am lucky enough for him to be home this year for Christmas. My brother-in-law and Father-in-law were Marines and wish I had better eye sight so I could have been. God Bless all who serve, now and before and in the future, Thank you from my heart

  • scruffy

    Dang it. It seems to be raining from my eyes again. Although I have read other poems similar to this ‘different Christmas poem’, is one I shall pass on. Thank you for putting this in the news letter.

  • W. Joe Rainey

    Not a poem I could have easily read aloud. And had goose bumps galore as I read it. Three of my four Christmases in the Corps I spent being away starting with my 1st at Parris Island. As a matter of fact, arriving there 11-11-75, I spent thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and my birthday (Jan, 21) on Parris Island (11/75-02/76), the USS Fort Snelling LSD 30-med cruise 11/76 to 5/77 and Guantanamo Bay Cuba (get no in Gtmo) 6/78 to 6/79. People tell me, “thank you for your service” to which I reply “I appreciate that, but no need to thank me, I had a blast!!! I wasn’t the best Marine but I am “A Marine”. God bless us all and all of our brother and sister services. L/Cpl W.J. Rainey. Nov. 75-Nov. 79

  • Larry Elliott

    I’ve still got that Christmas card from Da Nang in 1969 that I’d sent to my father in law. H&MS-11

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