Page Four



The Old Time Christmas

I liked the way we used to do,
   when cattle was plenty and folks was few.
The people gathered frum far and near, and
   they barbacued a big fat steer.
The kids tried stayin' awake because,
   they reckoned they might ketch Santa Claus.
Next mornin' you'd wake 'em up to see,
   what he'd been and put on the Christmas tree.

It was Christmas then fer the rich and pore,
   and every ranch was an open door.
The waddy that came on a company hoss
   was treated the same as the owner and boss.
Nobody seemed to have a care,
   you was in among friends or you wasn't there.
For every feller in them days knew
   to behave hisself as a man should do.

Some had new boots, which they'd shore admire
   when they warmed their feet in front of the fire.
And the wimmin folks had new clothes too,
   but not like the wimmin of these days do.
Sometimes a drifter came riding in,
   some feller that never was seen agin.
And each Christmas day as the years went on
   we used to wonder where they'd gone.

I like to recall the Christmas night.
   The tops of the mountains capped with white.
The stars so bright they seemed to blaze,
   and the foothills swum in a silver haze.
Them good old days is past and gone.
   The time and the world and the change goes on.
And you cain't do things like you used to do
   when cattle was plenty and folks was few.

Bruce Kiskaddon


Read more classic poetry from Bruce Kiskaddon
at the BAR-D.



Santa's Helper

Santa's checkin' through his list
The elves are workin' overtime
Rudolph's shined his nose up bright
The sleigh is lookin' fine

Mrs. Santy's been acookin'
For ole' Santy and the boys
Cause Santy needs his nourishment
While spreadin' Christmas joys

Ole' Santy checks his schedule
And studies through his map
That Mrs. Santy plotted out
While Santy took his nap

The Mrs. stayed up half the night
Sortin' presents shoulder deep
Cause Christmas is acomin' soon
And ole' Santy needs his sleep

Christmas Eve, she's up 'fore dawn
It's sourdough biscuits for the boys
While Santy eats his breakfast
She's out loadin' all the toys

She helps to harness up the teams
And hitch 'em to the sleigh
While Santy drinks his coffee
She's out loadin' feed and hay

Then she helps him in his longjohns
After pressin' out his suit
Helps him fasten his suspenders
Spit shines both his boots

In  a twinkle, Santy's on his way
Yuletide duties he'll not shirk
How come Santy gets the glory
When Mrs. Santy does the work

2001, Jay Snider  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Jay Snider's poetry here.

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of



Well, I've been out there lifting weights
And I've been out there jogging, too,
Shoving on some blocking dummies
Just like those football players do.

I bought some big knee braces
And some shin guards and some gloves,
Practicing on yearling calves.
How to block and duck and shove.

I'm eating healthy food and drink
working hard to get in shape.
Doing strenuous exercises
until my back and shoulders ache.

I filled my organ donor card
And my last will and testament,
I got the car inspected
And wrote a check out for the rent.

I started early in July
because time really slips away.
So I'll be ready this year
for that stress filled, frightful day.

Paid the bills, filled the gas tank
and got insurance on my life
'Cause tomorrow I'll be going
Christmas shopping with my wife.

1996, Don Kennington
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Don Kennington's poetry here.


A Good Life

The sun isn't up yet
Too early to move
There's chores to be done
Can't lay here and snooze

Crawl out of my blanket
A good stretch and yawn
Have to get movin'
It's now nearly dawn

We check on the cattle
Throw out some hay
Rolled oats for the horses
Same thing everyday

But this day is special
With its new-fallen snow
That time of year
When all creatures know

Peace on this Earth
Goodwill to all men
Are needed more now
Than they've ever been

It's nearly Christmas
Church by candlelight
With a sermon and songs
Along about midnight

Lights on the tree
Yule log on the fire
It's been a long day
And it's time to retire

I look for my blanket
And head for my bed
A warm place to rest
And lay down my old head

The boss stokes the fire
Throws on one more log
I know it's a good life
For this old ranch dog

2005, Linda Hermes
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Linda Hermes poetry here.


Santa Through the Years

I have a little tale to tell,
I bet you didn't know.
Santa's daddy was a cowboy from
A long, long time ago.
He was known on the range land
As the first to be hired hand
If your fences needed mendin'
Or you had some cows to brand.

When Santa was a growin' up
He was a triflin' bloke.
He though life was for havin' fun
And thinkin' up a joke.
His daddy, known as Cowboy Claus,
Was worried 'bout his kid.
He feared he'd be a no account
For actin' like he did.

So early on one Christmas Eve,
He took him to the shed
And said, "We're gonna make some toys
Before we go to bed,"
They hammered out some presents
And they were lookin' good.
His dad told Santa they must take them
Round the neighborhood.

They delivered to the poorest kids
And listened to them squeal
When they found sleds and wooden skates.
It made their Christmas real.
And Santa had himself some fun
In makin'  Christmas jolly
For little kids who wouldna' had
A sled or skates or dolly.

The next year they started earlier
A sawin' out that stuff
And piled that old shed so blamed full
That they near had enough
To bring to every single kid
In town and round-about
And no kid was too poor nor bad
He had to do without.

Then Santa tole his dad they should
Expand a little mite
And take their toys to all the world
On next Christmas Eve night.
And don'tcha know that's what they done
Before next Christmas Day.
They made toys for every girl and boy
And had to buy a sleigh.

And find the fastest reindeer in
The whole of reindeer land.
Their horses couldn't find the way
You have to understand.
And now each Santa trains his kid
Like that good Cowboy Claus,
To take over the delivery
Each year without a pause.

They all like to have some fun
Just like first Santa did.
They find their fun in bringin' joy
To every little kid.

2005, Joyce Johnson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Joyce Johnson's poetry here.



Christmas in '05

It was early Christmas morning
and a single lamp turned low
lighted our tiny one room home
with a yellow tinted glow.

The tree, a small dry tumbleweed,
strung with garlands, red and green,
stood in a corner of the room.
No presents were to be seen.

Ma was at the kitchen table
with tears running down her cheek
just wondering what she could say...
comforting words she could speak.

'Cause there was nothing for Christmas
and no special things to share...
it was the bleakest time of life
and all she felt was despair.

Our Pa was far away from home,
working on a ranch out west,
sending home money now and then
to help keep us fed and dressed.

Finally, Ma woke us kids up
to comfort us if she could.
She lifted us up on her lap,
said she hoped we understood.

Stockings we'd placed so carefully,
hung near empty on the wall...
just a tiny piece of candy
and a cookie, that was all!

But then the front door flung open
and there in the snow stood Pa,
a big broad grin across his face,
the best sight I ever saw.

Suddenly it seemed like Christmas
and the house seemed brighter then...
it didn't matter we was poor,
we were together again.

Copyright 2005 by Clark Crouch.

Clark adds:  My grandfather shared a lot about prairie life in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Work was not plentiful, housing was poor, and there never seemed to be enough money, even for basic living let alone for Christmas extras. Family was especially important in those times as reflected in this view of a Christmas back in "ought five" (1905).

Read more of Clark Crouch's poetry here.


Visit our Art Spur project for a growing collection of poems inspired by 
"A Christmas Tale" by Mick Harrison. 



See a complete list of all the holiday poems from 2000-2004 here.

See the links here for holiday news and more.



Page Four



 What's New | Poems

 Features | Events  

Poetry Submissions | Lariat Laureate Competition

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  


Site copyright information