"A Christmas Carol 2 – this time it's personal!"

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
In his bed was old Scrooge, who was out like a light;
In his dreams came three ghosts to disturb his good night.

But first on the scene came a rap at the door
And visions of Marley came up through the floor.
'My dear chap' he said, ere he peered through the gloom,
'About to arrive in this very room,

'Are three ghosts who will tell you what was and what is,
and will be anon, if you don't change your phys-
-ical hatred of love and of kindness', and then
Marley went in a flash and Scrooge slumbered again.

Perhaps Mr Scrooge was just making it up
As he'd overindulged in some spicy rum cup;
But before very long a cold draught blew through
And his covers blew off and his nightcap did too.

'Who are you?' he called as the spectre appeared.
A girl in a glittering dress tugged his beard.
'Come with me, I'll show you your Christmases past
When you were a boy'. Then they reappeared fast

In a room full of warmth and of family and fun,
With no mean-ness and coldness as he had become.
'You see?' said the ghost dragging Scrooge back to bed,
'The spirit of Christmas once lay in your head.'

Giving a wave she flew through the sash
And almost at once clapped a thunderous flash.
This ghost was a man – a grim-looking fellow,
He leapt to the bed and then with a bellow,

He called Scrooge to come, and his face wore a frown,
To see what was then happening at the far end of town.
To the home of Bob Cratchett they flew in a trice,
But nothing was cosy, nothing was nice.

A crippled young boy whose legs were no use
Was curled up in bed. But it wasn't a goose
On the table that day, but a hunk of stale bread
Was all that there was for the boy to be fed.

But there was round the room a circle of light
As if love was a heater on that freezing night.
For almost the first time in his adult life,
Scrooge could feel the love 'tween Bob and his wife

For the pitiable boy with nothing to offer
They had love in their hearts but naught in the coffer.
All of a sudden his head gave a spin
Back again in his bed, with Ghost Three coming in.

Scrooge dared not look at this visceral being
But he wanted to know what he would be seeing
In Yuletides to come, so he lifted his sight
And was met with a vision of terrible might.

To a lonely old place they went, and he saw
A haggard old man with his back to the door.
On the table a bird was there, nicely done,
But where was the jollity? Where was the fun?

'You see?' said the ghost as it whisked him back down
To his comfortable house in the nice end of town.
'You will live to regret this miserly life
When you die all alone with no children and wife.'

With that it departed, as dawn's rosy hue
Turned the sky from blackness to brilliant blue.
Old Scrooge leapt right up and flew out of the room
'I will' he declared 'start with a fresh broom.'

'I'll send out a messenger laden with food
For young Robert Cratchett and all of his brood.
I will take wine myself to them and I will say
A greeting of joy on this great Christmas Day'.

So he walked down the road. As he went out of sight,
He was heard to remark: 'What a magical night!'
And so all of you misers with cold in your hearts
Remember old Scrooge when the ghosts played their parts

In bringing him love and a sense of delight.
So good night to you all, and to all, a good night!