Monday, December 5, 2011

A Poem for the Season

To help usher in this wonderful holiday season, I am publishing here a poem my mother wrote. I think it depicts the warm, happy feelings of Christmas so well that I wanted to share it. My hope is, that at this festive time of year, we will recall all our blessings and those memories of friends and family we hold so dear.


There's a feeling about Christmas
That happens every year.
Its a special sort of gladness
That steals softly through the air.
It wraps its arms about me,
Till I’m lost in its embrace,
And that gladness pulls my heartstrings
Back to a dear familiar place.
I think of all the Christmases
That I have ever known,
And I am but a child again
On Christmas Eve back home.
There's a smell of wax and polish
Throughout every room.
The window panes are gleaming
And the Christmas tree's a bloom
With colored lights and baubles.
And popcorn chains we made,
Underneath are all the presents
In wrappings bright and gay.
There's a wreath in every window
And on the door as well,
In the kitchen Mama's baking,
It makes a most delightful smell!
There's pumpkin pie and mincemeat,
And fattigmands to fry,
A Christmas cake, plum pudding,
And a turkey standing by
Ready for the stuffing
That's laced with spicy sage.
The cookie jars are bursting
With the goodies Mama made.
It's such a cozy kitchen
As darkness now descends.
The lights go on throughout the house
To guide the Christ Child in,

The cry goes out that "Daddy's home"
We meet him at the door.
He kisses Mama, then hugs us,
And shakes snow on the floor.
"There's more snow coming down,”
He says, and we all rush to see.
It's true! It's snowing! We all laugh
The house is filled with glee
For it is Christmas once again
And what a happy sight
To see the family gathered round
On this very special night.
Then Mama fixes supper,
The table's set by all.
And when the meal is ready,
We come running at her call.
But strangely, no one's hungry
For its just too hard to eat,
We've seen those pretty packages
All wrapped so gay and neat
But, soon the meal is ended,
The kitchen clean and bright.
And Bud has charge of seating
Telling each one where to sit that night.
And now our program's starting.
Kathleen will be first
She sings a song of Christmas
While Jeannette recites a verse.
The clarinet is played by Bud,
Barbara sings another song.
Then I play the piano, and
Daddy sings "O Tannenbaum"
The presents then are given out
Amid soft cries of pleasure.
There's never been a year like this
Its a Christmas we will treasure.


There's such a stack of presents
Beneath this tree of ours.
It takes a while to give them out
Sometimes it seems like hours!
There's bound to be a game for all
In fact there may be several.
We gather in the dining room
And start playing at the youngest level
So the little girls can play with us
Before they go to bed,
They hang their stockings, say their prayers,
And dream of that man in red.
Mama says the Christ Child
Is out walking on this night
To find a place to rest His Head,
And we pray that the light
From our windows will guide Him here,
Our door would open wide,
And from the cold and frosty air,
We'd usher Him inside.
Then we'd tell him how we loved Him
And how we hoped He'd stay.
But, alas, it never happened,
He never found the way
To our house in Nebraska
On those long ago cold days.
Daddy then would tell us
About the Christmas Star
Our thoughts are of the first time
The Wise Men saw it from afar
And how they rode their camels
O'er Judea's dusty plain
Until they reached the stable
Where the precious baby lay.

And this, to me, is Christmas,
The night, the star, the snow,
The Christmas tree, the music,
The songs we sang so long ago,
The preparations getting ready
For this very special Eve,
The shopping and the laughing,
And the packages we leave
Till the very final moment
To slip beneath the tree —
All these precious memories
Are Christmas Eve, back home, to me.

Mary Louise Hillyard

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