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

I tried to recapture Christmas

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.

 

Handwritten letters to Santa:

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

Oh Tannenbaum.

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,

it’s-just-what-I-wanted-oh-thank-you-Santa!

 

Now I’m all grown up and my children are past believing.

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,

I am.

 

May the peace and love of the season live and thrive in your heart all year long!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

 

~Elise Skidmore ©2016

4 Comments

  1. Very nice, funny I actually wrote a small essay, for another site I visit, we were all trying to build ourselves up, and unsurprisingly our memories are much the same. Love you so much have a great Christmas..I know it will be different but it can still be fun.

    1. We always had the best Christmases growing up. They were truly the gift, more than anything we received under the tree. Thanks for letting me know you like my efforts to boost the Christmas spirit–and for not getting mad that I used a photo of the two of us. 🙂 Love you too!

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