Twas the night before a contest

A Ham's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through two-meters,,
Not a signal was keying up,
Any repeaters.

The antennas reached up,
From the tower, quite high,,
To catch the weak signals,
That bounced from the sky.

The children, Tech-Pluses,,
Took their HT's to bed,,
And dreamed of the day,
They'd be Extras, instead.

Mom put on her headphones,,
I plugged in the key,,
And we tuned 40 meters,
For that rare ZK3.

When the meter was pegged,
By a signal with power.,
It smoked a small diode,,
And, I swear, shook the tower.

Mom yanked off her phones,,
And with all she could muster,
Logged a spot of the signal,
On the DX PacketCluster,

While I ran to the window,
And peered up at the sky,,
To see what could generate,
RF that high.

It was way in the distance,,
But the moon made it gleam -,
A flying sleigh,,
With an eight element beam,

And a little old driver,
Who looked slightly mean.,
So I though for a moment,,
That it might be Wayne Green.

But no, it was Santa,,
The Santa of Hams,,
On a mission, this Christmas,
To clean up the bands.

He circled the tower,,
Then stopped in his track,,
And he slid down the coax,
Right into the shack.

While Mom and I hid,
Behind stacks of CQ,,
This Santa of hamming,
Knew just what to do.

He cleared off the shack desk,
Of paper and parts,,
And filled out all my late,
QSLs for a start.

He ran copper braid,,
Took a steel rod and pounded,
It into the earth,,
Till the station was grounded.

He tightened loose fittings,,
Resoldered connections,,
Cranked down modulation,,
Installed lightning protection.

He neutralized tubes,
In my linear amp...,
(Never worked right before --,
Now it works like a champ).

A new, low-pass filter,
Cleaned up the TV.,
He corrected the settings,
In my TNC.

He repaired the computer,
That would not compute,,
And he backed up the hard drive,
And got it to boot.

Then, he reached really deep,
In the bag that he brought,,
And he pulled out a big box.,
"A new rig?" I thought!

"A new Kenwood? An Icom?,
A Yaesu, for me?,
(If he thought I'd been bad,
It might be QRP!)

Yes! The Ultimate station!,
How could I deserve this?,
Could it be all those hours,
That I worked Public Service?

He hooked it all up,
And in record time, quickly,
Worked 100 countries,,
All down on 160.

I should have been happy.,
It was my call he sent.,
But the cards and the postage,
Will cost two month's rent!

He made final adjustments,,
And left a card by the key:,
"To Gary, from Santa Claus.,
Seventy-Three."

Then he grabbed his HT,,
Looked me straight in the eye,,
Punched a code on the pad,,
And was gone - no good bye.

I ran back to the station,,
And the pile up was big.,
But a card from St. Nick,
Would be worth my new rig.

Oh, too late, for his final,
Came over the air.,
It was copied all over.,
It was heard everywhere.

The Ham's Santa exclaimed,
What a ham might expect,,
"Merry Christmas to all,,
And to all, good DX."

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