'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
With no thought of the dog filling their head
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap
Knew he was cold, but didn't care about that
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa Claus - with eyes full of tears
He un-chained the dog, once so lively and quick
Last year's Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick
More rapid than eagles he called the dog's name
And the dog ran to him, despite all his pain
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Let's find this dog a home where he'll be loved by all."
I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year
For Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear
The gift of a dog is not just for the season
We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons
In our haste to think of the kids a gift
There was one important thing that we missed
A dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don't give a gift, then put it on a chain
And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
"You weren't given a gift! You were given a LIFE!"