Twas the night before Christmas in our Uganda house,
And everyone is sweating including the mouse.
The heat’s quite oppressive in this holiday drought.
The fans would be turning but the electricity is out.
The children are sleeping, or pretending to be,
Dreaming of morning and the presents they’ll see.
I work on a bike, carefully tightening a spoke,
Even knowing as I do, in a week it’ll be broke.
Then I hear a great racket and jump up to see,
What wonder or miracle it might happen to be.
Could it be Santa with gifts in his sack?
No, it’s just our guard snoring, sleeping out back.
Then a bang and a rattle, something flies through the air.
I rub both my eyes not believing what’s there.
It’s a flying taxi van all decked out in lights,
Pulled by seven Marabou storks in red and green tights.
The sight is so appalling that I let out a scream,
And awaken myself from this yuletidish, nightmarish dream.
I drag out of bed and to the living room go,
Thinking, Christmas in Uganda is not what I used to know.
Our tree’s artificial, a white Christmas, only dreams.
And Santa’s sleigh’s been delayed at the post office it seems.
No fireplace for stockings so by the window they sway.
We play Christmas music and think of loved ones far away.
So many differences, Christmas doesn’t feel quite right,
And yet the core essentials are the same this holy night.
God’s love still abounds, and the victory’s still won.
Our hope is still found in the giving of His Son.
So let our hearts rejoice and our voices ring.
May we sing with the angels, for the coming of our King.
Wherever we may be over all this wide earth,
Let us cling to Christ our King and celebrate His birth.
(by Bob Peterson)