T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the shop, 
 The computers were whirring; they never do stop. 
 The power was on and the temperature right, 
 In hopes that the input would feedback that night. 
 The system was ready, the program was coded, 
 And memory drums had been carefully loaded; 
 While adding a christmassy glow to the scene, 
 The lights on the console, flashed red, white, and green. 
 When out in the hall arose such a clatter, 
 The programer ran to see what was the matter. 
 Away to the hallway he flew like a flash, 
 Forgetting his keys in his curious dash. 
 He stood in the hallway and and looked all about, 
 When the door slammed behind him and he was locked out. 
 Then, in the computer room what should appear, 
 But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer; 
 And a little old man, who with scarsely a pause, 
 Chuckled: "My name is Santa; the last name is Claus." 

 The computer was startled, confused by the name, 
 Then it buzzed as it heard the old man exclaim: 
 "This is Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, 
 And Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen." 
 With all these odd names it was puzzled anew; 
 It hummed and it clanked, and a main circut blew. 
 It searched in it's memory core, trying to "think"; 
 Then the multi-line printer went out on the blink. 

 Unable to do it's electronic job 
 It said in a voice tha was almost a sob: 
 "Your eyes how they twinkle, your dimples so merry, 
 Your cheeks so like roses, your nose like a cherry, 
 Your smile; all these things I'm programed to know, 
 and at data recall I'm more than so-so; 
 But your name and your address (computers can't lie) 
 are things that I just cannot Identify 
 You've a jolly old face and a little round belly 
 That shakes when you laugh like a bowl full of jelly 
 My scanners can see you, but I still insist 
 Since you're not in my program you cannot exist!" 

 Old santa just chuckled a merry "ho, ho," 
 And sat down to type a quick word or so. 
 The keyboard clack-clattered, its sound sharp and clean, 
 As Santa fed this "Data" to the machine: 
 "Kids everywhere know me; I come every year; 
 the presents I bring add to everyones cheer; 
 But you wont get anything - that's plain to see; 
 Too bad your programers forgot about me." 
 Then he faced the machine and said with a shrug, 
 "Happy Christmass to all," as he pulled out the plug. 
 -               -Creative Computing 
 -                     Dec 1980 

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