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A Visit From...

by Cheryl Petterson
(With apologies to Clement Moore)

T'was the night before Christmas on the Enterprise
(“And what’s wrong with Chanukah!” Daffy replies)
The Third Watch Bridge crewmen were all at their posts,
Making jokes about fruitcake between champagne toasts.
Sulu and Jilla were snug in their bed,
And it sure wasn’t sugar-plums filling their heads;
And Ruth in her nightgown, and Spock in his robe,
Had just settled down for a winter's repose,
When on the viewscreen there appeared a strange sight,
And red alert sounded all through the ship’s night.
To the comm Uhura’s hands flew like a flash,
And called for the Captain to get up there, fast!
Jade Han and McCoy raced to Sickbay with dread
DelMonde and Scott ran to engines instead,
Spock and Ruth went to the Bridge at a run,
Sulu and Jilla interrupted their fun.
Daffy and Pavel cut short their row
(It was a Tuesday, if you want to know)
More rapid than eagles the Senior Crew came,
And Jim took command, giving orders by name;
"Now, Sulu! now, Valley! now, Spock and Chekov!
Report, Miss Uhura, and turn that noise off!
Is it Klingons or Romulans? Silmarils? Havens?
Are we being attacked? Does someone need savin’?!"
As photon torpedoes sent screaming through space,
Explode, leaving of their target no trace,
So Uhura let go a cry, troubled and weary,
“Captain, I’m getting – it’s really quite eerie.
I can’t explain I – I don’t know where it’s – hell!
I’m getting what sounds like – well, like jingle bells!”
Spock said, “Fascinating,” and Ruth hid a grin,
Bending over the scanner, her hand on her chin.
“Hot damn!” she murmured and Spock, too, had to smile,
“Here’s something I bet no one’s seen in a while.”
“What is it Miss Valley?” the captain said, frowning,
Hoping this time there’d be no chance of drowning
“A right jolly old elf, if I remember the rhyme.”
“Elf?” Jilla repeated. Ruth said, “Never mind.”
“Captain, I’ve got something coming in now,”
Pavel Chekov reported, “It’s just off the port bow.”
“Confirmed,” Sulu said, “though the configuration….”
He shook his head, expressing great consternation.
“Wait, let me guess,” Jim said, pulling his ear,
“It’s a miniature sleigh with eight tiny reindeer.”
“Nine, actually sir,” wryly corrected Chekov.
“Oh, right,” Jim affirmed, “I forgot Rudolf”
“I – I just don’t believe this,” Uhura stuttered.
“Yeah, where are the dreidels?” Miss Gollub muttered.
“Why is it always that fershlugginer elf?
Why never menorahs or Chanukah gelt?
At least all the Pagans get their trees and lights
And the Christians get Jesus, though the birthdate’s not right.
This guy has what to do with it?” she said.
“Dafshka, be quiet,” Pavel quietly begged.
“Captain, we’re being hailed,” Uhura broke in.
“Put it on screen,” cautiously replied Jim.
“He probably just wants to say “Ho Ho Ho,”
Sulu murmured, keeping his voice quite low.
And on the viewscreen, sure enough, did appear
That little old sleigh and those nine little deer,
The little old man who was all dressed in red,
A pipe in his mouth and smoke all ‘round his head.
He winked at the screen with his thumb by his nose
He nodded his head and boomed out “HO HO HO!!!”
Then with a flash right at each crewman’s feet
Was box or a basket or other wrapped treat.
Then he said with a voice that was loving and warm,
And echoed all through every ship’s corridor
“The spirit of giving’s not tied to one’s home
Happy Chanukah, all, and to each one, Shalom!”

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