Smash The Skull
Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack In Christmas Town
'What's this, what's this..'
This is the poem that Tim Burton wrote, for the film to be based on.
It was late one fall in Halloweenland,
And the air had quite a chill.
Against the moon a skeleton sat,
Alone upon the hill.
He was tall and thin, with a bat bow tie;
Jack Skellington was his name.
He was tired and bored in Halloweenland.
Everything was always the same.
"I'm sick of the scaring, the terror, the fright
I'm tired of being something that goes bump in the night.
I'm bored with the leering my horrible glances,
And my feet hurt from dancing those skeleton dances.
I don't like graveyards, and I need something new,
There must be more to to life than just yelling 'Boo!'"
Then out of the grave, with a curl and a twist,
Came a whimpering, whining, spectral mist.
It was little ghost dog, with a faint little bark.
And a jack-o'-lantern nose that glowed in the dark.
It was Jack's dog, Zero, the best friend he had,
But Jack hardly noticed, which made Zero sad.
All that night, and through the next day,
Jack wandered and walked,
He was filled with dismay.
Then deep in the forest, just before night,
Jack came upon an amazing site.
Not twenty feet from the spot where he stood,
Were three massive doorways carved in wood.
He stood before them, completely in awe,
His gaze transfixed by one special door.
Entranced and exicted, with a slight sense of worry,
Jack opened the door, to a white windy flurry.
Jack didn't know it, but he had fallen down,
In the miidle of a place called Christmas Town!
Immersed in the light, Jack no longer was haunted,
He finally found the feeling he wanted.
And so that his friends wouldn't think him a liar,
He took the present filled stockings that hung by the fire.
He took candy and toys that were stacked on the shelves.
And a picture of Santa with all of his elves.
He took lights and ornaments and the star from the tree,
And from the Christmas Town sign he took the big letter C!
He picked up everything that sparkled and glowed,
He even picked up a handful of snow.
He grabbed it all, and without being seen,
He took it all back to Halloween.
Back in Halloween a group of Jack's peers,
Stared in amazement at his Christmas souveniers.
For this wonderous vision no one was prepared.
Most were exicted, but a few were quite scared!
For the next few days while it lightnened and thundered,
Jack sat alone and obsessively wondered.
"Why is it they get to spread laughted and cheer
While we stalk the graveyards, spreading panic and fear?
Well I could be Santa, and I could spread cheer!
Why does he get to do it year after year?"
Outraged by this, Jack thought and he thought,
Then he got an idea. "Yes... yes... why not?"
In Christmas Town, Santa was making some toys.
When through the din, he heard a soft noise.
He answered the door, and to his suprise,
He saw weird little creatures in strange disguise.
They were all together ugly and rather petite.
As they opened their sacks, they yelled "Trick or treat!"
Then a confused Santa was shoved into a sack,
And taken to Halloween to see mastermind Jack.
In Halloween everyone gathered once more,
For they had never seen a Santa before.
As they cautiously gazed at this strange old man
Jack related to Santa, his masterful plan:
"My dear Mr Claus, I think it's a crime,
That you've got to be Santa all of the time!
But now I will give presents, and I will spread cheer,
We're changing places, I'm Santa this year!
It is I who will say Merry Christmas to you,
So you may lie in my coffin, creak doors and yell 'Boo!
And please, Mr Claus, don't feel ill of my plan
For I'll do the best Santa job that I can."
And though Jack and his friends thought they'd do a good job,
Their idea of Christmas was still quite macabre.
They were packed up and ready on Christmas Eve day,
When Jack hitched his reindeer on his sleek coffin sleigh,
But on Christmas Eve, as they were about to begin,
A Halloween fog slowly rolled in.
Jack said "We can't leave, this fog's just too thick.
There will be no Christmas, and I can't be Saint Nick."
Then a small glowing light pierced through the fog,
What could it be? It was Zero, Jack's dog!
Jack said 2Zero, with your nose so bright,
Will you guide my sleigh tonight?"
And to be needed was Zero's great dream,
So he joyously flew to the head of the team.
And as the skeletal sleigh started it's ghostly flight,
Jack cackled, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
'Twas the nightmare before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was peaceful, not even a mouse.
The stockings all hung by the chimmney with care,
When opened that morning would cause quite a scare!
The children, and nestled so snug in their beds,
Would have nightmares of monsters and skeleton heads!
The new moon that hung over new fallen snow,
Cast an eerie pall over the city below.
And Santa Claus's laughter now sounded like groans,
And the jingelling bells like chattering bones.
And what to their wondering eyes should appear?
But a coffin sleigh and skeleton reindeer!
Ans a skeletal driver, so ugly and sick,
They knew in a moment, that can't be St. Nick!
From house to house, with  a true sense of joy,
Jack happily issued each present and toy.
From rooftop to rooftop he jumped and he skipped,
Leaving presents that seemd to be straight from the crypt!
Unaware that the world was in panic and fear,
Jack merrily spread his own brand of cheer.
He visited the house of Sue and Dave,
They got a Gumby and Pokey from the grave.
Then to the home of little Jen Neeman,
She got a baby doll possessed by a demon.
A monsterous train with tentacle tracks,
A ghoulish puppet wielding an axe.
A man-eating plant disguised as a wreath,
And a vampire teddy bear with very sharp teeth.
There were screams of terror, but Jack didn't hear hear it.
He was much too involved in his own Christmas spirit!
Jack finally looked down from his dark, starry frightes
And saw the commotion, the noise and the light.
"Why, they're celebrating, it looks like such fun!
They're thanking me for the good jog that I've done."
But what he thought were fireworks, meant as goodwill,
Were bullets and missiles, intended to kill!
Then amist the barrage of artilary fire,
Jack urged Zero to go higher and higher.
And away they flew like a storm in a thistle,
Until they were hit by a well guided missile.
As they fell on a cemetery, and way out of sight,
Was heard, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!"
Jack pulled himself up on a large stone cross,
And from their he reviewed his incredible loss,
"I thought I could be Santa, I had such belief"
Jack was confused, and filled with great grief.
Not knowing where to turn, he looked to the sky,
Then slumped on the ground and started to cry.
And as Zero and Jack lay crumpled on the ground,
They suddenly heard a familiar sound.
"My dear Jack, I applaud your intent.
I know wreaking havoc was not what you meant.
And so you are feeling sad and quite blue,
But taking over Christmas was the wrong thing to do.
I hope you realise Halloween is the right place for you,
There's a lot more Jack, that I'd like to say,
But now I must hurry, for it's almost Christmas day!"
Then he jumped in his sleigh, and with a wink of his eye,
He said "Merry Christmas!" and he bid them goodbye.
Back home,
Jack was sad.
But then, like a dream,
Santa brought Christmas to Halloween.
Sally And Jack
Since the Nightmare Before Christmas includes the holiday Hallowe'en, how about a history lesson on the holiday...?
Hallowe'en was celebrated by the Celts who lived 2000 years ago in the areas that is now UK,N.France and Ireland. The holiday was called Samhain, which was on the 1st November. It marked the end of the summer and harvest, and beginning of the dark winter ahead, which was associated with death.
The Celts believed on this time, the wall between living and dead humans became fainter. On the 31st, they celebrated of when the ghosts came to the living world. Celts thought that the arriving dead would help the Celtic priests, or Druids, to make predictions about the future.
Celts built big, sacred bonfires, which they would burn crops and sacrified animals that would go to the Celtic deities. During the burning, Celts wore costumes, such as skins of animals, and would fortune-tell. Afterwards, they would relight their hearths, for protection of the winter.
By 800 AD, Christianity has spread to Celtic lands, and 1st November, became All Saint's Day, or All Hallow's Eve. It then became more widely known to be Hallowe'en.
The modern traditions of this holiday in America is 'trick or treating'. This originates from where poor people would beg for food, and families would give them 'soul cakes' in exchange for a prayer to the family's dead relatives.
Pumpkins, and the carving of them, came from an Irish myth called 'Stingy Jack'. As the story goes, Stingy Jack invited the Devil for a drink (as you do), but he wouldn't pay for it, living up to his name. So he persuaded the Devil to change himself into a coin to pay for the drinks. The Devil did so, but Jack kept the coin, and put it into his pocket next to a cross so the Devil couldn't change back. Jack freed the Devil finally, but under the condition that the Devil wouldn't bother Jack for a year, and if Jack should die, the Devil would not be allowed to claim his soul. The next year, Jack tricker the Devil into climbing a tree to pick fruit, but Jack carved a cross on the tree bark, so the Devil would not be allowed back down until he promised that he wouldn't bother Jack for the next ten years. In the end, Jack died, but God wouldn't accept Jack into Heaven. But the Devil promised he woudn't let Jack into Hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a carved out turnip with a light in for guidance. Jack has been roaming the Earth since. The Irish called this spirit: 'Jack of the Lantern' aka 'Jack O Lantern'.
In Ireland and Scotland, people made their own versions of a carved out turnip, and used pumpkin instead. They would carve scary looking faces to drive away Jack and other evil beings.
Here endth the lesson.
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