It’s that time of year again. Christmas is only a few days away, and everyone seems to be in that last minute, panic, stage of the season, trying to make everything perfect for everyone else. There’s no denying that 2016 has been a very rough year for many of us, so we’re having to dig deep to find our holiday spirit. It doesn’t seem to be as easy as it used to.
That said, I believe in the spirit of Christmas, captured in children’s hearts forever. Even though it’s easy for adults to get caught up in the stresses of the holiday season, there’s a part of that childhood magic trapped within us, just waiting to be brought out again like long collected Christmas ornaments. I believe if we try hard enough, we can make the love that is Christmas last all year long. In searching for my own bit of Christmas spirit, I stumbled on this poem I wrote a long while back, taking me on a stroll through my childhood Christmases, and I felt the flicker of that long ago wonder ignite in my heart. May it serve to rekindle happy memories in your heart too.
Carol of Christmas Past
with Joy to the World singing in my ear
and lights dancing on the tree.
In each glass ball,
the spirit of Christmas past
whispers sweet memory;
childhood frolics again in shimmering clarity.
I’ve been oh-so-good all year long–
Can you please bring Puppetrina
and more Barbie clothes?
Family walks along miles of cold city streets
searching for the perfect tree
to satisfy Mama and Santa Claus.
Once found, we waddle home
like ducks in a row,
each pair of hands clasping tight to
Two little girls begging to trim the tree,
simultaneously disappointed and thrilled
that Santa’s “chosen” to share
his decorating talents with us.
On Christmas Eve we walk to church,
the family singing Silent Night.
Eyes filled with candlelight
and the babe in the manger.
We race home hoping Santa had come while we were at church
but he always seemed to save our house for last.
We hang red knitted stockings in anticipation,
then are rushed off to bed —
but not before leaving tea and Pffeuneusse for Santa —
After all, he needs his strength for the long night’s work.
My sister always shushing me to sleep;
I toss and turn,
wondering what delights morning will bring.
Is that noise hooves on the roof?
Will he bring me my dolly?
And what exactly is a sugarplum?
Awake at the crack of pre-dawn,
we creep down the hallway.
The miracle of Christmas
exploded in our living room.
Gaily wrapped gifts lie everywhere,
too numerous to be confined beneath the tree–
And the tree,
breathtaking in its magnificence,
sparkling silver tinsel
bathed in colored light
mirrored in polished glass.
The stockings once empty
overflow with sweets, oranges and candy canes.
“Mommy! Daddy! He came! He came!”
And sleep deprived, so did they,
fully awakened by our joy.
A frenzy of paper-tearing,
oohs and ahs,
Still captivated by the beauty of the season,
lost in dreams I sing,
I’ll be home for Christmas.
Touched by the memories
enshrined in each treasured ornament,
May the peace and love of the season live and thrive in your heart all year long!
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
~Elise Skidmore ©2016