by Chris Bodenner

Two readers submitted Stan Rogers' "First Christmas" within just one minute of each other.  Lyrics after the jump:

This day a year ago, he was rolling in the snow


With a younger brother in his father's yard


Christmas break, a time for touching home,


the heart of all he'd known


And leaving was so hard

Three thousand miles away,


now he's working Christmas Day


Making double time for the minding of the store


Well he always said, he'd make it on his own


He's spending Christmas Eve alone


First Christmas away from home

She's standing by the train station,


pan-handling for change


Four more dollars buys a decent meal and a room


Looks like the Sally Ann place after all,


in a crowded sleeping hall


That echoes like a tomb

But it's warm and clean and free,


and there are worse places to be


And at least it means no beating from her Dad


And if she cries because it's Christmas Day


She hopes that it won't show


First Christmas away from home

In the apartment stands a tree,


and it looks so small and bare


Not like it was meant to be,


Golden angel on the top


It's not that same old silver star,


you wanted for your own


First Christmas away from home

In the morning, they get prayers,


then it's crafts and tea downstairs


Then another meal back in his little room


Hoping maybe that "the boys" will think to phone


before the day is gone


Well, it's best they do it soon

When the "old girl" passed away,


he fell apart more every day


Each had always kept the other pretty well


But the kids all said the nursing home was best


Cause he couldn't live alone


First Christmas away from home

In the common room they've got the biggest tree


And it's huge and cold and lifeless


Not like it ought to be,


and the lit-up flashing Santa Claus on top


It's not that same old silver star,


you once made for your own


First Christmas away from home


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