A Christmas Poem
December 22, 2010
I wrote this poem in December 2009 in honor and celebration of the special qualities we see and connections we find with each other during the Christmas season. These are some of the wonderful things I observe at this time of year and I hope you do as well. Please enjoy!
We may say that it’s something in the air,
that special something we feel and unprompted share
with family and friends and acquaintances, strangers too.
No, not for the warmth of the air do we act as we do.
The air is chilled and the sky oft dulled gray in winter’s grip.
But these days, gray or sunny, they don’t merely slip
unmarked by. We mark them; and by more than just date:
in our hearts and the joy in our eyes more than markings on slate.
The green flannel scarf on the peg by the door
is now warmer somehow, though the same as before.
But if the sweater I find in the drawer is just a sweater
why then does putting it on make me feel so much better?
And what ingredient makes the soup tastier this time of year?
What makes cookies so much sweeter and music more enjoyable to hear?
We all of us know it, though we don’t need to say
that the spirit of Christmas has made things this way.
The smiles we exchange in the midst of this season
are more genuine and last longer for some unspoken reason.
It’s as if we share something new and we savor the sharing,
yet it’s not new at all, the source of our caring.
No, the root of this joy and expressions of care
is not found in the seasonal nip of the air.
The season’s true nuance makes our connections stronger,
and more tangible in how a friendly hand lingers longer.
How a handshake after fellowship is firmer, more stable,
and how handholds are tighter when saying grace at the dinner table.
At Christmas we don’t just hold hands; we join them, and they us.
And our spirits likewise embrace in celebrations most joyous.
We make plans with our friends, not just spontaneous greetings,
so that we can longer savor our connections and their meanings.
At Christmas time we gather more hugs and embraces
from our loved ones and friends; all creeds and all races.
We’re closer at Christmas despite distance between us,
the issues that divide us, or generations separating us.
It’s not in the cold winter air or in the food on the tables.
Not in the gifts that we buy or the prices on labels.
Our hearts and our spirits are lifted and aglow
because of a child that was born so long ago.
Into a world uncertain, and no more certain today,
He brought a wonder and a hope that makes us feel this way.
Our hearts fill with love, and like our sisters and brothers
we reflect on His gift to us and see the reflection in others.
Bound together in joy and celebration of His birth,
It’s the true spirit of Christmas that brings us this unfettered mirth
* * *
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!