By Sue Core


I am writing this tale to enlighten all those
Who feel sorry for folks on the Isthmus;
Those who wonder if we, in this tropical land,
Miss the fun that they have when it’s Christmas!

We admit we’ve no frost-bitten fingers to warm,
We’ve no chilblains to thaw by the stove;
We’ve no sidewalks all buried in snow two feet deep—
We’ve no coal scuttles, either, by Jove!

No, our ears don’t get cold and our faces don’t chap,
Nor our noses get blue, like the heather;
We, of course, have our troubles, our Xmas-time woes,
But we seldom get sore at the weather!

We have people bring presents when we’re not prepared,
We get gifts that are funny—and formal;
We send presents to folks who don’t know we’re alive—
We, in short, have a Christmas quite normal!

At our Yuletide down here, we’ve gay sunshine and flowers,
While the Trade Winds go whistling by;
We have palm trees, blue water, warm days without end,
We’ve a big Southern Cross in our sky;

We eat turkey and dressing, plum pudding and cake,
We sing carols a little off key;
We have mistletoe, holly, green wreaths on our doors,
While the kids dream old Santa they’ll see;

We have Christmas trees dressed up in tinsel and snow,
With the Bethlehem Star up above;
We fill rows of small stockings with toys, Xmas Eve,
And we listen to sermons on love!

So, dear friends, if you’ve sympathy, more than you need,
Don’t waste it, I pray, on the Isthmus;
For, though exiled from home at this time of the year,
We do have a Christmassy Christmas!


To those who’ve left their northern homes
And settled on the Isthmus;
To those I like. . and those I don’t. .
I dedicate this Christmas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas! Old Santa Claus sat
In his shop far up north, making toys
To be put into stockings all over the world
For exemplary girls—and boys!
His plump, kindly wife in a ruffled white cap
And petticoats, warm, wide and thick,
Was busily helping to pack the big sleigh
For the forthcoming ride of Saint Nick;


Illustrated by Anne Cordts McKeown
Copyright 1935 Clermont Press   Dobbs Ferry NY

Photo - Fort Clayton Library 1998

December 10, 2000