Poem of the Week: The Week Before Christmas

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.

*****

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Poem of the Week: The Holidays Are Here!

The Holidays Have Returned!
November 19, 2017

The holidays have returned!
The holidays are here,
Here for us to enjoy,
Here for us to celebrate—
Celebrate with friends and family,
Celebrate with food and song,
Song after song on the radio,
Song after song ‘round the fireplace—
Fireplace well across from the tree,
Fireplace where the chestnuts pop,
Pop like edible firecrackers,
Pop like kettle corn.
Kettle corn and deviled eggs,
Kettle corn and cranberries on strings,
Strings of lights on the banister,
Strings of lights lining the entire house—
House that smells of turkey,
House that smells of fig pudding,
Pudding for guests,
Pudding for carolers.
Carolers—winter’s trick-or-treaters.
Carolers—the bards of the season—
Season of joy,
Season of remembering—
Remembering Jesus,
Remembering the babe in the manger—
Manger filled with hay,
Manger where the animals lay,
Lay sleeping ‘neath the starry sky,
Lay until the three wise men came,
Came with gifts for the young Messiah,
Came with frankincense, myrhh, and gold—
Gold that now decorates our homes,
Gold we now dig for from our wallets,
Wallets and purses.
Wallets never full enough,
Enough to help us purchase our party wares,
Enough to help us purchase our gifts,
Gifts for those we know,
Gifts for those we love.
Love is the theme of the season.
Love is the season’s reason—
Reason to exist,
Reason to remind us all,
All about the holidays,
All about the season’s spirit.
Holidays…
Spirit.

*****

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Poem of the Week: Christmastime Already?

Christmastime Already?
November 11, 2017

Carols already on the radio,
Trees already strung up with twinkling lights…
Vet’rans Day was just yesterday, but lo
And behold, the season’s come overnight.
Don’t get me wrong, either. Christmastime rocks!
‘Tis a time worth spending with those you love,
But then, so’s Thanksgiving time, and it shocks
Me to know that from somewhere high above,
Someone decided to skip Thanksgiving
So that Christmastime early can descend.
Heaven forbid one day we spend living
‘Fore another day to come ‘round the bend!
Alas, can’t we live one day at a time
To savor each season oh so sublime?

*****

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First Poem of Christmas 2016: What Christmas Means

What Christmas Means
November 26, 2016

C
ranberries, turkey, and stuffing on the table,
Helping out the homeless, the ill, and the disabled,
Rings and streams of evergreen decking every hall,
Ink and paper wishing joy and comfort to one and all,
Stockings, bows, and twinkling lights hung with care,
Tunes of merry tidings playing everywhere,
Mending broken hearts, even if just for the season,
Aunts, uncles, and grandfolks over for one special reason,
Snow upon the ground making things crisp and serene…

All these things and more to me are what Christmas means.

*****

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Poem of the Week: Another Case of the Holiday Blues

Another Case of the Holiday Blues
December 23, 2015

The Holidays are here, soon to be done,
Thankfully for my ever-throbbing head,
Runny nose, baggy eyes, and so on, hon—
All of which combined make me feel so dead
To all the festivities, sights and sounds,
That always come around this time of year.
What a terrible time to feel so down!
Oh, how I could use some holiday cheer…
But alas, my cold won’t have it right now,
And I must get some rest if I wish to
Get something of worth out of this—and how!
Please forgive me, then, if I’m rude to you,
But I’ve got an illness to fight off, friend,
If I want these Holiday blues to end.

*****

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Poem of the Week: Holiday Shopping at the Mall Many Years Later

Holiday Shopping at the Mall Many Years Later
December 10, 2015

So I went to the mall just yesterday
For some last-minute gifts for the Holidays,
And I couldn’t believe the heart-breaking sight
Of the stores I once knew vanishing overnight
In favor of stores I’ll probably never go,
And it still makes me sad seeing things just so.

I know what you’re all thinking, too: “So?
That’s how change works: Here yesterday,
Gone today. Don’t like the new stores? Don’t go.”
Maybe I should and just enjoy the Holidays.
Even so, this vision won’t disappear overnight,
For in my eyes, there’s more to such a sad sight.

Back in the days when money was in sight
Stores were varied, arranged, and stocked just so
With items of interest that arrived overnight
That fit in with what was on sale yesterday
And made me want to spend a financial holiday
Buying everything in sight ‘til it was time to go.

That was years ago, though, and ho! Where’d they go?
Gone with the wind—still in mind, but out of sight,
And worst yet, too, during the Holidays.
Already have I been missing the past so
That more than ever am I pining for yesterday
And the moments I’ve allowed to fade away overnight.

It’s depressingly funny how time can pass by overnight
And how we’re all so apt to let good things go
By, having taken them all for granted yesterday
And later on let things fade out of sight
Only to allow change to happen just so
Unsatisfactorily, especially around the Holidays.

After all, the magic of the Holidays
Is meant to last as long as, if not longer that, overnight,
And for it to be dampened by something so
Shocking to one’s wistfulness as seeing a favorite store go
Takes away so much from all the sounds and sights
We’ve known year after year and makes us miss yesterday.

I’ll never forget yesterday, especially ‘round the Holidays—
The stores, the sounds, the sights, all having vanished overnight.
Such a shame to see them go. Oh, how I miss them so!

*****

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Poem of the Week: Hope for the Holidays

Christmas 2015 Hope

Hope for the Holidays
December 1, 2015

The future can change in so many ways.
Just keep your chin up to see what it brings.
Never give up hope for the Holidays.

Long we’ve been used to seeing darker days.
Long have we felt anxiety’s stiff sting.
The future can change in so many ways.

Long have we forgotten positive ways,
‘Specially ‘round the time when angels sing.
Never give up hope for the Holidays.

Tune your ears to the bells of Santa’s sleigh
And just imagine all the hope he brings.
The future can change in so many ways.

I’m not talking, either, toys from past days
Or cranberries and popcorn strung on string.
Never give up hope for the Holidays.

I’m talking the promise of brighter days
For all who combat this decade’s sharp sting.
The future can change in so many ways.
Never give up hope for the Holidays.

*****

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Image used in this post (c) 2015 EmbLibrary.com. The remainder of the content within this post however, is my own.