I have a problem with Christmas.
Maybe because it used to mean so much
Those memories are still so strong
Of laughter and shouts of joy
And now those I shared it with
Are mostly gone
Leaving me with the memories,
Good and bad.
Surprising how many are found
In little ornaments of glass, wood, plastic, and all.
There is a memory in a little red horse
That my father bought and used to quiet crying kids
On his knee when he played Santa.
He loved to be Santa
And have the kids on his knee.
A soft side that was not always easy to see.
And I have an old glass one in a very old style
That was my mother’s mother’s.
There’s a red 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.
More than a few once hung on my mother’s tree.
No one ever loved Christmas
It is so hard to believe there have been eleven Christmases
And two grandchildren she never saw.
There are dozens of good memories that hang from the tree.
There is probably not a one
That does not bring back a particular Christmas
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
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 until he would begin to cough.
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