Christmastime

May we never forget the Christmases of family; those memories lived before our present days became so busy.  In my family, we were lucky runts; to be a part of a family where bank accounts were small but hearts were bigger than the moon.  I can’t think of our childhood Christmases without the warmth of knowing we are a family.  Yes, Mama and Daddy are gone—but their wishes remain with us:  to live well and help others; to love one another regardless of differences and to do our best to be faithful to that which is important:  family, God, and by being…making the world a kinder world to live in.  Nope, I can’t imagine a life without you; a poem without you; a dream without you.  I really can’t.  

I wish everyone this kind of love—we all know it’s not an easy road; we are human—but human spirits are worth the work; we are worth the work; and nothing good comes without a price to pay.  I also know that not everyone has happy memories of holidays and for that I am sorry, but if there is a blessing, it is that you can share the joy in your own heart today and start your own traditions.  

May all of you, whether you celebrate in the birth of Christ; or rejoice in the gifts of 8 days of light or simply celebrate gifts given through love.  I wish you all merriment and joy.   And may your Christmas memories toll out your own heart’s song. 

Plastic snow, Mom’s favorite:
Sprinkled everywhere.
Carolers of Woolworth’s wax,
‘Top the mantle’s fare;
Lampposts slowly melting
From the fire’s heat;
With a city made of cardboard,
Nestled on a glittered sheet.
Garland’s hung with stockings;
Just waiting to be full.
(We’re sure to get a sweater
Made of scratchy wool;
Underpants and anklets
Wrapped up ‘neath the tree:
Some for Bob and Donnie…
Even some for me.)

1950’s Santa,
Plugged in by the telephone.
His bag was but a light of red,
To match his coat so neatly sewn.
A kissing-ball of glitter
And greens of mistletoe;
Hanging in the center
Of the only life I know.
Snow globes for the shaking;
Leaded tinsel raining down:
As we prepare for Grandma’s visit,
To spend her Christmas out of town.

The Nativity, another world
For the little ones:
A cow, a sheep and camel
And God’s wisest sons.
The Magi, bringing gifts of love
To the family in the crèche;
Giving birth to Jesus
Made of porcelain flesh.
Its star, not just a nightlight,
Atop our old TV:
But a star to navigate us 
To the Holy Mystery.

Mama’s up before us,
Baking Lemon Pies;
Turkey’s in the oven;
Snow’s falling from our skies;
Stockings bulging in the middle;
Presents sitting neath our tree:
While little feet are getting nervous
Wond’ring which ones are for me.
Daddy has the punch bowl out
To make his Christmas Cheer;
So he may welcome all the family
That he loves and holds so dear.

This is Christmas in my memory;
When I was but a girl:
When I had such wonder in my eyes
And brushed a fawnish curl.
When my sister and my brother
Were the only pals I knew;
And my Mother and my Father
Were the Captains of our crew.
A time when all I cared about:
Was that Mama loved her gift;
And if the tie I got my Daddy
Would give his heart a lift;
Or the Old Spice in the bathroom–
Should really be replaced–
And if the socks I got my brother
Would help him win a race;
Or if the necklace, for my Sister
Would outshine her every smile.
Ohhh…
The olden days of Christmas…
I haven’t seen you for awhile.

Top photo: Bigstock

About Robin Clark (34 Articles)
Robin, born in Talent Oregon, now resides in Bellevue, a community outside of Seattle Washington. She is a published poet, OP-ED writer and Children's story author. She is currently in partnership with a composer who has asked her to write the book for his next musical. She is also being courted by assorted Directors to write a stage play and her dream is to leave a legacy in words, where you come to realize anything is possible.