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Ok, the London Christmas was tweaked by an Aussie in England. Now here is "Cambodian Christmas" by a new

Zealander in Cambodia. Is nobody home for the holidays this year? Thanks to Janice Reid for this, the final "'Twas the night before Christmas" version this year.

*Cambodian Christmas*

Twas the night before Christmas,

Right here in Phnom Penh

And the beasties were snoring

Tucked up in their dens

The missos were wrapping

Up presents galore

And sharing Yuletide stories

And other folklore

Their mammies and daddies

Were here for the hols,

Right over from Stateside

With presents and dolls

Or Aussie, or England

They came from everywhere

To look for Saint Nick...

If he knew his way here

The stockings were hung

On the aircons with care

And the ants went and found them

And built nests in there

Then suddenly, suddenly

Through the dark night

The dogs started howling

And yelping with fright

Then down the old roadway

The potholes they missed

Those carabao plodding

So laden with gifts

The driver was laughing

And honking and such

As he pulled up outside

And gave the bell a touch

We piled out the door

And opened the gate

And there was the stranger

A tall four-foot-eight

And then he smiled greatly

And gave a nice "wai"

And said, "I am Santa.

Chum reap soar! Hi!"

His face it was shiny

All covered with sweat

But his t-shirt was brighter

Than house-paint all red

He climbed from his ox-cart

And came in the house

And scared, as he did so,

A rat and a mouse

A smile he did give us

And some of those gifts

And we gave him back

Fried bananas and grits

Now Santa, he said

"I have much to do here

To teach all these Khmer

No effort to spare

To celebrate Christmas

To remember the Son

Who is really The Gift

from the Three in the One

Then off he did go

That Santa so merry

To call through the darkness

His message so cheery

And his carabao snorted

As they plodded away

With the leader's nose shining

Turning night into day

And Santa did call

As he rounded the bend

"Merry Christmas to all,

And a life without end!"

Translation:

Phnom Penh: capital city of Cambodia

Beasties: animals (a Down Under term!)

Missos: missionaries

Carabao: water-buffalo

Wai: a polite way of greeting (equivalent to a handshake) by holding hands together in prayer position in front of your face. Done with a small bow for added politeness

Chum reap soar: Cambodian greeting, "Hello."

Fried bananas: common snack, very tasty!

Khmer: Cambodians

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