Leigh Holman

(with apologies to Clement C. Moore)


It was the night before Christmas

And all throughout the front porch

No one was stirring,

‘Cept the Admiral with an electric torch.


The lights were a twinkling,

But the Control Room was bare,

There was no one present

Not even the Captain’s curly hair.


That chairs were in place

And the plotting table had maps.

The Admiral couldn’t find the crew

No one was taking naps.


The Admiral was in kahki

And a puzzled look on his face,

He had checked the sub over

Why weren’t the men in place?


He checked the missile room

And where the men ate their mess

How could they disappear

One the day of the Test?


The swirls of the water

On the view port up stern

Gave a luster of midday

But the Admiral didn’t give a 'durn.


But what to his ears should appear

But laughter and voices

From the Wardroom below

To follow the sound, left little choices.


More rapid than eagles

Through the sub he did go

To gather together his crew

From the corridors below.


Lee to the Con,

And Chip to the table!

They had better get to the job

While they were still able.


Ski to the sonar

And Sharkey to the deck

And where was Riley?

They will certain catch heck!


On, Lads, come on guys

Get where you must be

The Admiral’s the boss

You don’t work the sub for free!


Then in a minute or second

He heard a slight sound,

A small thud and twinkle

A Christmas tree ball he’d found.


Then he remembered

As he was turning around

What day it was

And went through the hatchway

with a bound.


They were dressed as normal

From their head to their feet

With stocking and Santa hats

And lots of goodies to eat


With gestures and waving

They invited him in

Among the trees and tinsel

The music and din.


They wished each other luck

To another good year

With toasting and cake

And Christmas carols to hear


And as he entered the room

He picked up a goblet of wine

And raised the glass to his friends

And wished them a fine time.


Now the sub is all quiet

And everyone’s gone to bed

"Happy Christmas to all,

and to all a good night."

Echoes in his head.