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   Military Vets Looking for a Job?


The Night Before Christmas

(From a Pilot’s Perspective)

by David W. Stewart

with credit to Clement C. Moore

(who would surely be a pilot were he alive today)


        Twas the night before Christmas

        And all through the land

        Not a creature was stirring

        A storm was at hand


        Ol’ Santa was worried

        As he said with a frown

        The children expect me

        I can’t let them down


        He checked on the weather

        But the forecast was dreary

        It looked like this Christmas

        Might not be so merry


        So he gathered his reindeer

        In hopes that among them

        They’d find a solution

        To this unforeseen problem


        Dasher and Dancer

        Were no help at all

        While Comet and Cupid

        Just watched the snow fall


        Prancer and Vixen

        Were willing to try

        But Donder and Blitzen

        Thought it risky to fly


        Hey, Rudolph can help us

        Santa then stated

        I know for a fact

        That he’s Instrument rated


        The others had teased him

        And acted atrocious

        As he studied his Jepp charts

        And practiced approaches


        Now the time and the effort

        He’d put into training

        Would make Christmas happen

        Whether snowing or raining


        He knew about vectors

        And could use GPS

        Which would guide them to places

        Without having to guess


        So they loaded the sleigh

        Which presented a challenge

        To confirm the CG

        And assure weight and balance


        When Santa was ready

        And Rudolph was too

        There was one final thing

        That they needed to do


        They contacted Center

        To file IFR

        For a trip that would take them

        To countries afar


        With clearance to waypoints

        They flew into the flurry

        On airways they’d travel

        There was no need to worry


        From country to city

        And every small town

        Rudolph guided the sleigh

        And each house he found


        When he landed at mine

        I’ll admit my surprise

        And I’m sure it was clear

        By the look in my eyes


        The night was as cold

        As I could remember

        And the chill left no doubt

        That the month was December


        His landing was perfect

        And worthy of boast

        Had he not been proficient

        He’d have missed the approach

        The sound on my roof

        Brought relief and a sigh

        Santa had made it

        We’d not been passed by


        He came down the chimney

        And opened his sack

        As he shook off the snow

        From his beard and his back


        In spite of the weather

        Ol’ Santa was jolly

        For some t’would be work

        But to him this was folly


        He filled all the stockings

        Put gifts ‘round the tree

        Most were for the children

        But I saw one for me


        Then quick as a flash

        He was back to his sleigh

        Where Rudolph was ready

        To show him the way


        He’d plotted the course

        That would get them back home

        With the help of flight following

        From Athens to Nome


        Santa looked at his checklist

        Then let out a whistle

        And away they all flew

        Like an ICB missile


        But I heard him exclaim

        As he flew out of sight

        Merry Christmas to all

        Thanks to Instrument Flight

      To read about how David W. Stewart came to write “The Night Before Christmas,”

      click here...



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