The Week Before Christmas
December 19, 2018
‘Tis the week before Christmas without snow on the ground.
I’ve looked all around, but nope—none I’ve found.
No chilly white fluff, just hard grey and brown
With tiny green spikes poking out all around.
To think, too, ‘tis December in Illinois,
Yet there’s no snow around to bring Christmas joy.
What a kick to the teeth for today’s boys and girls
Who’ll never know Christmas as it went in my world!
Back in those days, we’d have at least enough
Snow from which we made snowfolks, snow forts, and stuff;
Upon which we rode our sleds down this and that hill
And that we balled up and threw at each other ‘til
Our parents called for us to come on in from the cold
And have ourselves some soup with flavors rich and bold
And perhaps some hot chocolate as we hunkered down
‘Round the fireplace to listen to the joyous sounds
Of Christmas carols playing on the radio
As the lights all around us twinkled and glowed
With a subtle, supple glimmer that reminded us all
Of the time of year it was—not spring, summer, or fall,
But early winter, and Christmastime, too,
A time where kids could shake off the year’s blues
And enjoy life with friends and family,
Especially with so much to hear and see
As well as do for but a few weeks
‘Fore life elsewhen dares once again to sneak
Back upon us and reintroduce the mundane
‘Til another year passes, when we’d do it all again.
Granted, snow wasn’t the be-and-end-all
When it came to Christmastime great and small,
But it helped us get into a Christmassy mood—
A jolly, serene, and hopeful attitude—
And helped make the season feel all the better,
With or without the notoriously gaudy sweaters.
Heck, even a mere ten, fifteen years ago,
The Holidays felt more natural with snow.
Now, though, the ground’s barren of the chilly white fluff
As if Mother Nature Herself has had enough
Of keeping up with the seasons and stuff,
And by no means does it feel like any bluff.
‘Tis a crying shame, I will not lie,
For this Christmastime’s been passing me by
With a vengeance as I’ve been trying to sort out
So much else in my life that I can’t help but shout
Against the Fates for all I’ve been through,
And with no Christmas snow falling out of blue,
I’ve one less reason to have holiday cheer,
Making Christmas a non-thing for me this year,
Which hurts in that Christmas usually
Is a season that brings out the best in me
And helps me be the best person I can be
In one way or another, but now look at me:
I’m a crabby sad sack complaining about snow
Or the lack thereof it. What a way to go!
Surely there’s something better I can do
To set my mind straight again and see me through,
For truth be told, ladies, gents, boys, and girls,
“Green” Christmases aren’t the end of the world,
So long as one keeps strongly within one’s heart
The spirit of the season. That’s one way to start.
Sure, snow helps set the stage for the season,
But the absence of it alone is no reason
To not spend time with those you hold dear to you,
For only sharing can see you through—
Sharing the kindness, respect, and love
That Christ Himself, who now resides high above,
Had taught us all once upon a time
To have for all people during our time
And instill that same value in those we meet,
Regardless of season or where we chance to meet
Those to whom we pass on this life-long lesson
And share ‘round these times a holiday blessin’.
I guess on that note, then, I still have hope
In having a Merry Christmas even if the slopes
And valleys ‘round me aren’t smothered in white.
Knowing that, then, I can sleep at night
And focus what really matters ‘round this time:
Spending what I’ve left of this life of mine
With friends, family, and other loved ones dear
As per the tradition this time of year.
On that note, Christmas for me just might yet
Be saved, regardless of whether I forget
About how the snow might’ve made matters better,
For really, can I afford at all to be a fretter?
Therefore, snow, fall or not. Take your pick.
My Christmas will be fine, whether or not you’ll stick,
But a sincere thanks for the memories either way
Of when I was young and knew Christmas Day.