. Christmas Rules and Promises My first rule for this Christmas is__No carrot sticks for me.They might have been a snowman's nose,__So I will let them be. My second rule this Christmas is__Your gift I will remember;So if it turns out kind of cheesy,__I'll match it next December. My third rule for this Christmas is__Don't change the songs I play.When you are in my house you must__Endure them for the day. I'll gift-wrap empty boxes nice,__Then give a warning dire.If you won't listen, or obey,__I'll throw one in the fire. And if you breathe a bad word to__My Christmas company,I'll douse your head with eggnog,__ Throw you through the Christmas tree. Politely say "Thank you" for every__Photo, gift, or box,Even if it's handkerchiefs__Or just a pair of socks. You'll wish to all a "Merry Christmas,"__When meeting them this yule.That is my final Christmas wish,__And final Christmas rule. . . Cat Versus Christmas Tree The house cat was excited:At what was in his room.It looked just like a tree,And smelled like pine perfume. The cat thought to himself,This must be my reward.Perhaps my family knewThat I was getting bored. Another miracleAppeared before his eyes:They'd decorated itMuch to his great surprise. They hung up pretty ballsThat swung to and fro,Then strings of blinking lightsThat had a pretty glow. Then they tried to warn him:“Do not play with that,”But they don’t know the longingsOf a pussy cat. Pretty packagesLike dancing sugars plumsWere left there in the room.He thought: “My chance now comes!” He batted the first ball he sawOn the lower limb.It had a fun reflectionThat looked a lot like him. Time to climb up inThe boughs of this pine tree;To see what made that blink,And study it closely. He climbed up to the top;Then chewed upon a wire.The cat received a shockThat stung his mouth like fire. He scrambled in the boughs,And jumped immediately.Crashing down on him,Fell too the Christmas tree. The family came arunning“What terrible sound was that!?”And there beneath the treeThey found fried pussy cat. . . We've Given Our Best We’ve given our best to our family.It’s better to give than receive.We taught them to love and be happy.We taught them what they should believe. We’ve given and so little taken.We wish them wherever they areThat they’ll have a Merry Olde Christmas,And follow the Bethlehem star. They all won’t be home for this Christmas.It’s enough to know they’re doing well,And the Miracle born in the mangerIs the One in their hearts that will dwell. . . LTC Roy E. Peterson, US Army Military Intelligence and Russian Foreign Area Officer (Retired) has published more than 5,000 poems in 78 of his 101 books. He has been an Army Attaché in Moscow, Commander of INF Portal Monitoring in Votkinsk, first US Foreign Commercial Officer in Vladivostok, Russia and Regional Manager in the Russian Far East for IBM. He holds a BA, Hardin-Simmons University (Political Science); MA, University of Arizona (Political Science); MA, University of Southern California (Int. Relations) and MBA University of Phoenix. He taught at the University of Arizona, Western New Mexico University, University of Maryland, Travel University and the University of Phoenix.