Blended families are everywhere

And ours is like so many others

Your kids blended with mine

My stereo, your TV, and bits

Of furniture from my house,

Some from yours

And all now in our house.

It is the same in every room,

In every life.

Blending our things, blending our pasts,

Our futures

Our lives.

Most of all this mixing has been easy. 

This fit, that didn’t

Little even needed a discussion.

Oh, yes, there was a treasure or two

That did not seem to be cherished by all

But those were few.  Most just fit from the start.

Even our lives. 

Now it is our first Christmas.  Well, our first

As a family.

We had one last year as things were growing close

Between us,

But we were not yet as one.

This year, it is our Christmas.

And so we blend our Christmas decorations,

All the traditions and, of course,

Find traditions of our own.

But one thing I can’t see to blend.

And that is your Christmas Tree

With mine.

The tree itself is no big deal.

We went and selected a live tree

And while that was not done in a way

That I would have chosen, it was not a big deal.

Nor was the fact that the tree is live (or was)

And I would just as soon have an artificial one.

No, the difference is almost in an essence of Christmas

To me.

A secret meaning, a living memory.

You told me that you did away

With all those mix-matched ornaments

That you used to use.

Now you just put matching balls

And lights.

Just like they have at the mall,

At all the department stores in their sterile displays.

Pretty, yes, but so empty.

I have a problem with Christmas.

Maybe because it used to mean so much

And now all those I shared it with

Are mostly gone.

But there are still the memories,

Good and bad.

There is a memory in a little red horse ornament

That my father bought and used to quiet crying kids

On his knee when he played Santa.

And I have an old glass one in a very unusual style

That was my grandmothers.

I have a wooden soldier that jumps

When you pull his string.

I bought it for my first tree away from home.

There are several that came from a kit

My girls painted when they were so small.

I have some that have dates on them.

There are a lot from old friends and from old trees

Of long ago.

No one ever loved Christmas

More than Mother

And I have a lot of ornaments that used to hang

On her tree.

It is so hard to believe that it has been eleven Christmases

Without her.

There are dozens of good memories in so many

Of those little bits of glass, plastic, or wood.

There is probably not a one

That does not bring back a particular Christmas

Or person.

Few of them match in color or style,

But they all have the same appeal.

In one, I can see the reflection of my mother’s blue eyes.

Another still smells of my father’s cigarettes.

One, I know was once held by my brother

Gone since I was nine and he was seven.

My Christmas tree would never make it is a department store

Window, but it is alive

With memories

It is bright with the lights of Christmases past.

That is Christmas to me.

The family part of Christmas.

The joy of the Lord’s birth is in a realm on its own.

I am speaking of the family, the blended family now

And the memories of all the Christmases past

Blended with the Christmas to be.

I think of all the trees those ornaments have hung upon.

All the gasps of joys they heard.

All the hugs they saw.

All of the last Christmases with this one or that.

And all of the times

They heard “Silent Night”

My tree is always covered with these bits of the past.

These Christmas joys.

They make Christmas alive to me.

And bring home so many who have been gone so long.

I look at my tree and know they are in the room.

I can stare at that tree and smell the powder my Mother wore.

And sometimes feel the way she hugged me

When it was time to go.

I can hear my father laugh.

I can hear my little ones’ glee as the wrapping paper flew.

I can hear the years fall away

And just for a moment, can still be there with them all

For a moment

Just for a moment.

I see it all in the lights of my tree

With memories hanging from every branch.




N. Lauderdale, FL

6:10 PM