A Very Carolina Christmas Poem

Share This!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through The Hill
Not a Tar Heel was stirring, even campus was chill
The stockings were hung by the chimney with style
In the best shade of blue, classic argyle

Kids cozy in bed like a hand in a mitten
Dreaming of sweet Mama Dip’s country kitchen
Or the candy at Southern Season and Sutton’s
Enough to make Rameses bust all his buttons

When all of a sudden, I heard noises so loud
Like a packed-to-the-banners game-day crowd
So I rushed to the window where my wondering eyes
Saw Old St. Nick flying high through the skies

He flew over the village, so peaceful and quaint
A welcoming place to the jolly old saint
He smiled down on Merritt’s, that ole store and grill
Al’s, Vimala’s, Spanky’s and Top of the Hill

Then his sleigh took a turn, for no journey’s complete
Without a cruise down Franklin Street
The Varsity sign shone merry and bright
While a church called Love sang ‘O Holy Night’

Then up on the wind and swift as the breeze
They leapt over the Davie Poplar tree
Then down with a flash, a quick whirl around
The lovely Old Well, sign of our town

And up! Up! Up! With reindeer power
The sleigh flew in circles around the Bell Tower
He soared over the home of our favorite team
The Dome named to honor the legend of Dean

Go Jordan! Go Worthy! Ford, Scott, Hansbrough!
Go Rosenbluth, Jamison, Cunningham, Go!”
He shouted and cheered like the truest of fans
Of the greatest of teams in all of the land

Now what happened next, I didn’t foresee
The next stop on his list was right there with me
Down through the chimney and sticking the landing
Here was Santa himself right in front of me standing

From the tip of his cap to the toe of his foot
He wore Carolina blue (with a smidgen of soot)
“But by legend,” I asked, “don’t you always wear red?”
For the first time, he frowned. “Vicious rumor,” he said.

Out of his bag he pulled one gift for me
“The chance of a lifetime,” he told me, “to see
With new vision your town and neighbors around you
The untold thousands of gifts that surround you

It’s not about the gifts you get on one day
But the practice of giving yourself away
When you see a neighbor in need, will you pause?
Who knows what small spark of hope you could cause

To smile at a stranger you pass on the street
Could be the first step toward the next friend you meet
This town is special, a place like no other
Remember to love and look out for each other

Time isn’t money, but compassion is gold
A table for the hungry, a coat for the cold
Make more of a mark than you dare to dream of
Through the smallest of acts, done with great love.”

With a wink and laugh he was quick on his way
Back up through the chimney, on the roof, in the sleigh
Before I could move to the window to see
He took to the sky as high as could be

I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight
His voice, like a light, cut right through the night
“Not a person forgotten, not one soul left out
Remember just what the season’s about

Remember the manger, surprising in glory
And the small, humble King, the star of the story.”
And his words echoed back and forth in my heart
A reminder that small is a good place to start

“Make more of a mark than you dare to dream of
Through the smallest of acts, done with great love.”

Illustrations by Jessica Hunter

Share This!

Posted in

Matt LeRoy

Scroll to Top