The Nightmare before Christmas Poem
Ghouls and goblins, witches a brew,
Oogie Boogie stirring up his snake and spider stew,
A hysterical mayor with a curled, twisted face,
With monsters and ghosts wandering in this Halloween place,
A pale rag doll sewed up stitch by stitch,
Next to an eerie mad scientist with an uneasy twitch.
Though they all looked scary and seemed quite macabre,
It was just Halloween and it was only their job.
Then, in the front of the crowd a skeleton stood,
He was the Pumpkin King so he did what he could,
Was heard “Jack Skellington” as the crowd cheered and cried,
Yet no one heard Jack’s soft, unspoken sigh,
Admirably, they surrounded him, creped and crept,
So with a blink of an eye, off Jack gracefully leapt.
He wandered to a graveyard and in he stepped,
He thought to himself then silently wept,
For throughout Halloween Town he was loved and adored,
But he hated spreading terror, and had become quite bored,
Then out from a grave, what to appear?
A little ghost dog with his own brand of cheer.
The sight of the dog brought a slight smile to his face,
So the ghost dog’s nose glowed with a happy, eerie grace,
“Zero, come boy”, was all that Jack said,
As he sauntered up a hill, seeming to be filled with dread,
But there was someone else there that Jack didn’t see,
It was a young rag doll girl whose name was Sally.
She was sneaking behind tombstones and tombstones galore,
This was a side of Jack she hadn’t seen before!
For the Jack she knew acted tempered and mad,
But heard from him now seemed sensitive and sad.
The Pumpkin King was never truly understood,
And he would give it all up if he only could.
With Jack’s caring heart and ghostlike charms,
The last thing he wanted was to cause humans harm.
The bright yellow moon silhouetted the scene,
As Sally watched the King, remaining unseen,
Then Jack and Zero stepped down from the hill,
As the wind began to blow, causing a haste chill,
Moments later, Sally looked to the spot where he used to stand,
And mumbled to herself “Jack…I understand”.
Through the whole night he walked through the woods,
Wondering why he was always misunderstood,
But by the next morning he had wandered so far,
That he was in a place that he’d never seen before!
It was odd and new so he looked all around,
To examine this new exciting place he had found.
There were many different shaped doorways there, odd to see,
One shaped as a turkey and the other, a tree,
But the tree caught Jack’s eye the most by far,
It was covered with ornaments and on the top was a star,
He twisted the doorknob and cast it slightly ajar,
To find nothing, just emptiness, how bizarre!
He sighed, shrugged then turned around,
But in that moment, icy air from the doorway had pulled him down!
He was falling and curling through a white, windy flurry,
Everything then had become blurry,
When he landed Jack rubbed his eyes for he felt blind,
But as he opened them he saw an amazing find!
He was seated upon a hill with a fresh blanket of snow,
As he peered down at the city below,
On the right were small children skating on ice,
To the left was a marvelous snowmaking device,
He slid down the hill with such great ease,
Into a pile a snow, but he was too happy to freeze.
He leapt out of the coldness with a smile on his face,
Eagerly looking from place to place,
Under mistletoe he watched two people kiss,
Filling him up with such sweet bliss,
Then to watch the lights being put on the tree,
It just made him so happy, enlightened with glee!
He ran and skipped, laughing all the way,
Looking at reindeers and the red and white sleigh,
So little time and so much to see,
“What is this place? What could it be, what could it be?”
At that second he ran into a pole and fell down,
To look up, it was a sign that read “Christmas Town.”
Back in Halloween Town the citizens were worried,
“It’s been 24 hours since we’ve seen him! No, make that 30!”
They looked in coffins and graveyards alike,
Not having him around they extremely disliked,
Then a vampire heard just the hint of a bark,
“What’s that? Oh! It’s Zero!” He excitedly remarked.
Around the corner and through the gate,
Jack came with a filled sack but just to see him was great,
“Where have you been?” Everybody cried,
“Call a town meeting and I’ll tell you!” Jack replied,
The mayor then in an instant began to declare,
“Town meeting! Town meeting! Everyone be there!”
That night, Sally snuck out of her dwelling,
She wasn’t supposed to but she was rebelling,
To get to the meeting that everyone attended,
No one knew what was happening, but they knew it’d be splendid,
Then Jack came out to the front of the stand,
“Listen everyone! I’m going to tell you about a special land.”
The crowd grew silent and everyone listened,
Their hearts were beating faster and their imaginations glistened,
Jack showed them the stockings, the presents, the lights,
Gasps were heard over these amazing sights,
“Does the stocking have a foot?
Santa comes down the chimney, isn’t he filled with soot?”
Jack tried to explain but they didn’t hear it,
They already had their own Christmas spirit,
So he gave up and let them think what they wanted,
Who cares if their idea of Christmas was haunted?
But Jack still wanted to know more and more,
There are so many sides of Christmas that he needed to explore!
Most that night went home excited and enlightened,
Others went back confused and some a bit frightened,
Yet Jack went home to quietly study,
Alongside his best ghost dog buddy,
“Just how do they do it?” said the Pumpkin King,
“There’s got to be a way to explain this Christmas thing.”
Christmas was something Jack wanted to be part of,
“But why do chestnuts, candy canes and mistletoe = Love?”
While he was thinking he heard a tap at the glass,
It was a basket with offerings, so he looked down in a flash,
To see Sally, of course, with a smile so sincere,
But before he could say hello, she was gone, disappeared.
The next few days the people began to fret,
“What’s wrong with Jack? He’s gone crazy I bet!”
For Jack hadn’t left his room for a day or two,
Too busy experimenting on Christmas while curiosity grew,
“Why is it cheerful? Why does it give you such a feeling inside?
These were the answers Jack was determined to find.
Exhausted and frustrated, he took a quick break,
Maybe this whole Christmas thing had been a mistake,
He looked around the room and picked up a picture he had,
Of him holding a pumpkin and looking evilly mad,
A vision came to him then, in a flash, with a grin,
He saw himself in a red Santa Clause skin.
“Oh yes! Of course! It’s the perfect plan!
I will be Santa, we’ll do Christmas, I know that I can,
I will get to be good, spread joy and cheer,
Santa’s gotten to do it one too many years,
Why, I bet I could even improve it too,
And that’s exactly what I’ll do!”
Though some would think that it is a horrible scheme,
To Jack it was his wonderful dream,
So he ran to the window and opened it up in no time,
Then shouted to the crowd, “Christmas is mine!”
And though the citizens clapped and cheered,
Sally was listening, and it was what she feared.
He called for another meeting; each person needs a task,
“Christmas is coming up in a month! We need to work fast!”
Some to make toys, others to write out the sleigh route,
He talked Sally into making the Santa suit,
The mad scientist to make the flying reindeer,
There was too much to do, they needed to persevere!
Three trick-or-treaters wandered in,
Their masks put on with evil grins,
“Ah,” Jack said, “Just the ones I wanted to see”,
He whispered their job into their ears and they agreed,
As they walked out the door, snickering “hehehe”,
Jack shouted to them “No Oogie Boogie!”
They hustled down their curvy road,
To get started on the task that they were so rightfully bestowed,
They stumbled into their little tree house,
Scurrying away were insects and a mouse,
The chuckled and giggled, poked and played,
“We will kidnap the Sandy Claws! We will do it today!”
They hopped in their mobile tub and got ready to go,
To the place Jack described, filled with laughter and snow,
“But Jack said no Oogie, how awful! How grim!”
Another replied, “Well, what he doesn’t know, won’t hurt him”,
They laughed again and started off slow,
But over the hill their speed started to grow.
While the trick-or-treaters were off on their devious pursuit,
Sally was busy fitting on Jack his Santa suit,
“Wonderful!” Jack exclaimed, “Red and white, not white and black!”
Sally replied, “But you’re not Santa! Your Jack!”
“Not anymore,” Jack said with a grin,
“But you look nothing like him! Too tall and too thin.”
Just as Sally was starting to persuade,
The trick-or-treaters arrived, no, they’d invade,
“Jack! We got him! We got him!” They said with a shriek,
“Perfect!” Jack shouted and Sally’s attempts became meek,
In the tub there was a sack, and as Jack opened it slightly,
Out came a chubby old man, and he didn’t take it lightly.
“Where am I? Who are you? Have I gone insane?”
“No no,” Jack replied, “Just let me explain,
There’s no Christmas for you, it’s my turn this year!
You get to relax and I will spread cheer!”
“But there must be some mistake!” Santa stuttered,
Ignoring him, Jack sent him off, “Not another word to utter!”
“Let me go! Let me go!” Santa tried to plead,
But he was with the trick-or-treaters now, and they showed no empathy,
They mocked and laughed at poor Santa’s pain,
Even if they had nothing from it to gain,
“To Oogie Boogie!” They all shouted as one,
“Yes, brilliant! Oh, this’ll be fun!”
As they shoved the plump Santa down Oogie Boogie’s pipe,
Santa continued to complain, to holler, to gripe,
But they couldn’t get him to fit so their hopes started to decrease,
“You stupid old lug! Your far too obese”,
“But if he can fit down a chimney he can fit down here!”
So with one last push Santa was shoved down with fear.
But as Santa’s eyes adjusted to the dark,
He heard the scary shriek and a moaning hark,
So as the big green monster started to come near,
His knees started shaking, trembling with fear,
“Well, what have we here!?” Oogie demanded,
“I am Santa Clause, now get away from me!” he commanded.
Oogie laughed and laughed as Santa tried,
To talk some sense into this fabric guy,
“You’re wasting your time,” said Oogie, “Alright?
I have made up my mind and I do love to spite”,
As Oogie tied up his arms Santa said, “This doesn’t make sense!”
“Of course it doesn’t,” said Oogie, “Now stop being so tense.”
Now, when Santa was becoming Oogie Boogie’s next prey,
Jack happily sat up in his sleek coffin sleigh,
When everyone was ready, singing songs and carols,
Sally found herself in an important, minor peril,
“I have to stop Jack! Before he’s let loose!”
So she picked up a bottle that was labeled “Fog Juice.”
Just as Jack was about to call off the skeleton deer names,
A thick, heavy fog slowly rolled in and came,
The big smile on his face suddenly disappeared,
“Oh no! We can’t take off in this! It’s just what I feared”,
As everyone lost hope, a light pierced through the fog,
What could it be? It was Zero! Jack’s dog!
When Zero saw the sadness turn into delight,
His nose grew brighter and brighter as it shined through the night,
And as he was praised to the head of the team,
His little spark of a nose turned into a bright gleam,
“We’re off!” Jack shouted as they flew into the night,
“Jack no!” Sally screamed but he was out of her sight.
Jack looked down at the city while the reindeer roamed,
As they landed upon the first special home,
Down the chimney Jack easily bounded,
While a child watched on, completely dumbfounded,
Jack noticed the boy and gave him a present,
When up the chimney he gleefully went.
The boy opened the gift as fast as he could,
When then, behind him, his parents stood,
“What did Santa bring you honey? Tell us what’s in”,
But he just looked down; he couldn’t start to begin,
So as he watched the box with dread,
He lifted up an old shriveled severed head.
From house to house he merrily hopped,
So excited with himself, he couldn’t be stopped,
To one house he left a 30-foot snake,
It would cause quite a scare when the children would wake,
To another a devilish man-eating wreath,
And for a little girl, a doll with long vampire teeth.
Halloween Town people watched what was going on,
But the joy of it all made Sally feel withdrawn,
All she could do was watch with a sigh,
Then an idea, “Where’d they take that Santa Clause?” She cried,
Without being answered she took off looking in a flash,
While the other creatures stared at their merry Christmas bash.
But the cities people knew that he had to be stopped,
Leaving teddies and dolls with all of their heads chopped,
They thought very quickly, they could no longer stall,
As Jack flew through the air, calling “Merry Christmas! One and all”,
He was enjoying his brief moments of fame,
While the citizens got their guns and started to aim.
Jack smiled as he saw rockets explode left and right,
“Why, they’re celebrating! I really am doing this right!”
But what Jack thought were fireworks meant as goodwill,
Were weapons and missiles intended to kill,
One was shot and the sheer speed made it whistle,
Jack was then hit by a well guided missile!
As he fell through the sky with such misbelieve and fright,
Was heard “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”
The citizens were still watching from a witches brew,
A werewolf howled, “What did we do? What did we do?”
The mayor got into his car and cried,
“I knew this would happen, but why did Jack have to die?”
He got on the loudspeaker to alert Halloween,
“Poor Jack has been blown to smithereens!”
The citizens thought worst, but Jack hadn’t died,
He had landed in a graveyard and that’s where he lied,
Zero tried to get him up as he thought of a way,
But Jack was too tired and filled with dismay,
“What have I done,” Jack quietly said,
His dreams were all broken, and his Santa clothes ripped to shreds.
Jack thought as reality slowly soaked in,
He was wrong and had to take it on the chin,
Christmas wasn’t meant for the ones of Halloween,
They knew nothing of merriment, the thought was obscene,
They didn’t know, and they didn’t understand,
That Christmastime was supposed to be grand.
Jack watched the horror that he didn’t mean to bring,
Then gasped, “Santa Clause! I can fix this whole thing!”
He then opened a coffin and ran inside,
Appearing in Halloween Town but he had a Santa to find,
He ran through the graveyard and over a hill,
But heard screams from Boogie’s home causing him quite a chill.
He crept down a tunnel and peeked through a hole,
To see Oogie with the Santa Clause that he stole,
But it wasn’t just Santa, no, there was another,
Why, it was Sally, she was the other,
They were being held over a boiling pit,
Yet Jack knew he could save them with his regular wit.
Oogie laughed and knocked them in with a smash,
But something had gone wrong for he didn’t hear a splash,
As Oogie looked to see what was going on,
He found an angry Jack, but Sally and Santa were gone,
“Hello Oogie,” Jack said with a stern face,
“But Jack! I thought you were dead,” said Oogie, with a fast backward pace.
Jack followed him closely and started to scold,
But Oogie had traps throughout his entire household,
He pressed a button and with a ting and a clash,
A blade came falling at Jack but he dodged it in a flash,
Swords, guns and tricks galore,
All missing Jack, he found it a bore.
Then Oogie made one crucial mistake,
He leapt onto a ledge, something he shouldn’t partake,
Jack saw a string from Oogie so he grabbed it quick,
“How dare you treat my friends this way!” He said very slick,
Oogie started to bicker and have a little fit,
So then in one strong pull, Jack unraveled him into the lava pit.
Sally and Santa then came out from where they were concealed,
Sally was thankful, but Santa didn’t yield,
“Bumpy sleigh ride!” He shouted at Jack,
“You’ve ruined my holiday! In my right mind I should attack!”
“I’m sorry Mr. Clause, is there anything I can do?”
”Do what your good at!” Santa shouted, “Hide in corners and shout boo!”
Santa pointed at Sally and said, “My dear,
She’s the only one that makes any sense around here!”
Then Santa stomped off now in a bad mood,
Off to save Christmas while he mumbled something shrewd,
Jack watched as Santa flew off in a flee,
Then turned to the girl, “How did you get down here, Sally?”
She looked up at him, blushed and twiddled her hair,
“Well, I wanted to, you see, well there-“
They were then interrupted by a bright light in their eyes,
It was the mayor and the trick-or-treaters, “Jack! Your alive!”
Jack took her hand and held onto a rope,
They were pulled up and Sally smiled, filling herself with hope.
It was late and everyone in Halloween Town was asleep,
They were tired and sad and it was too late to weep,
But they were all awoken by the mayor’s alarm,
Awake to see Jack laughing and gleaming with charm,
“Jack!” They all shouted as loud as they could,
He smiled, almost forgetting he was misunderstood.
Then Jack looked to the sky and what did he see?
But Santa’s red sleigh and eight deer so tiny,
Santa looked down upon the town and shouted, “Happy Halloween!”
“Merry Christmas!” Jack replied, a new routine,
Then one by one snowflakes began to fall,
The citizens were amazed, it was astonishing to them all!
For a moment they couldn’t believe what they were seeing,
And for that moment they all understood Christmas’ meaning,
Throwing snowballs gave them all a chill,
When skating on ice was such a thrill,
They were watching these things that they’ve never witnessed before,
While Jack was just watching Sally walk through the graveyard door.
She strolled up the hill humming a tune,
Softly sat in the snow and looked at the moon,
Jack was following her there, step by step,
Standing tall when he usually crept,
She noticed him then so up she stood,
“…I’d like to join you,” Jack said slowly, “If I could.”
Sally smiled at him so up he climbed,
While jingle bells rang through the town as they chimed,
He put his hand in hers and hers in his,
Wrapped his arms around her and gently kissed,
Christmas came and went like a dream,
In this town of Halloween.