As I walked into the banquet hall of the
Goodman’s Inn, the first thing that stood
out to me were the eyes of the people. I
felt as though I could actually see hope. Eyes
seemed to sparkle and everyone in the hall
sat talking to the others sitting around them
as they waited for the main course of the evening.
To understand this report we need to go back just
over a year ago when Lindsey Long won the 50
million dollar lottery. Apparently the multimillionaire
booked the Goodman’s Inn for December 24th through
to January 2nd of this year solely to house the homeless
over the Christmas holidays. Miss Long walked through
the streets herself over the last week inviting the
unfortunate homeless to come to the motel for these
festivities. Lindsey Long has not only provided the rooms
for this week, she also has clothed them with new
wardrobes and warm winter clothing and accessories.
Now as the people sat around the table they were
told Miss Long had an announcement. We all waited
to hear what this amazing lady had to say
and excitement filled the room. When this
beautiful young woman began to talk there
wasn’t one dry eye in the building. She told them
how she was not going to just send them back
on the street next week but how she had
built a new centre that would have sleeping
facilities and showers to accommodate all
of them. This new facility will be serving
three meals a day which will be prepared solely
from themselves on a voluntary bases.
The feeling in the Inn that night was pure joy
and as the people realized the impact of this
wonderful news, they all broke out singing
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. This is
Rhonda Reeds reporting for
The Good Newspaper.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Written by Brenda Meier-Hans
Sponsor Mystic Rose
The Good Newspaper
Copyright © Brenda Meier-Hans | Year Posted 2014
Peering at the radiating faces of happy families
So much joy emanates from well-to-do children’s sparkling eyes
Wish I could replace the grief, put smiles on the faces of my sons
Without a glimmer of hope even promises of warm meals would be lies
In the brown eyes of my sons, the same eyes their mother, my wife
Sadness the sacrifice, a courageous mother giving life
So great a zest for life she sacrificed to give her sons life
But now greed hath put her seed in peril and my world in strife
No “Help Wanted” signs in the windows of Main Street’s bustling stores
The aroma of fresh bread wafts tauntingly from the bakery
With my hands in pockets, finding not even loose change
Overcome with hunger and jealousy, should I resort to thievery?
Mind reeling, contemplating abating moral principals
Suddenly appear familiar brown eyes amid face so dear
The image of deceased wife, Spanish born eyes filled with tears
Speaking, "Abe, the Lord is gracious, walk until head is clear"
I follow the light in her warm eyes reflecting in glass windows
They lead me down the road to a park at the end of town
Dressed in ragged clothing, a man sits with a smile of peace
Breathing white puffs in frigid air, this gentle soul sees my frown
The message is plain, as my fears begin to clear
There is a greater depth in a soul of love well kept
The night is far spent; I kissed the hand of this gentle man
He smiled sweetly and said, "Lift up heavy head from dread"
I look up to see sun glistening on snow-laden pine boughs
It’s here, Christmas Day, and I’ve left my children alone all night
An ache in my heart compels me to race quickly back through town
Breathlessly, I reach my porch unprepared for a welcome sight
Hearing laughter within, I smell, yams, turkey and ham
I open my door, on the floor, presents piled high as well
Laughing with glee, sons kiss me, sparkle of brown eyes I see
Sparkling brown eyes, of Spanish descent, love is evident
“From where in the world did all this come,” I ask my sons
“Beautiful lady with Spanish brown eyes, stopped at our door
She said a strange thing, as on the floor our gifts were lain,
‘Tell Abe keep the faith; a mother's love is stronger than the grave.’
Her hugs and kisses, will be greatly missed! Who was she, Daddy?"
Thank you, Moses, for joining me and guiding me in this write. Merry Christmas, dear
Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009
I was wiping the dust off an old snow globe in the upstairs attic, when a mop of honey-blonde hair suddenly appeared through the wooden flooring.
"I thought I'd find you here," said the voice, warm and feminine. It was a lovely contrast to the thoughts that bloomed inside my head. The little red Santa smiling gaily, his gloved hand forever frozen in a wave. Truth be told it was over a hundred degrees outside, and up here in this cobweb-ridden place (by God) was practically unbearable.
But as I lightly shook the fragile keepsake I found myself dashing through the snow like I once did so many years ago. I heard the sound of high pitched laughter from afar, out in the sultry day (most likely the neighbor kids playing tag through a sprinkler-soaked lawn). But there, at that precise moment, I was taking the road before me, and singing a chorus or two.
"You miss him don't ya?" the voice broke me out of my thoughts, and for a moment I just stared at her as if she had a left over piece of spinach in her teeth. I nodded quietly in the silence and rubbed the smooth curvature of the glass with my thumb. It somehow felt cold, as if winter wonderland was still trapped inside.
I knew I hadn't stayed too long, though I knew my wife would be patient throughout this ordeal, however long it took. She didn't need to recite any famous sayings to pick me up, just her being there was enough. It was the unspoken truth between us, and it was always enough.
"Cody and Angie will be downstairs when you're ready to head out."
"I'm ready now. I was just doing a little cleaning up." It wasn't quite a lie. It was one of those statements we use to say one thing and mean the other. The attic was "okay", but I knew of more dire things in need of some organization.
Beth went down the ladder first, naturally. Then it was me, a bit awkwardly, still holding the snow globe. We both came into the living room, where our children sat waiting. Cody was playing some handheld video-game in his Hawaiian swimming trunks. Angie was quietly giggling at something her friend said, via text. Her blue bathing suit was barely more than a strap, and I knew I was this close from losing it. But this was a happy day, so I let it slide, just this once.
"Are you still not ready?" asked Angie.
I looked down at my blue work jeans and buttoned-up t-shirt. My wife gave her a fierce look, as if willing her to take back what she said. It didn't really matter though ... my emotions were spent.
"I was gonna change when we got there," I said, a bit defeated.
"Whatever." She rolled her eyes and plopped her phone right there on the couch. I just stood there like a lifeless statue, while my family got everything ready to head to the local pool. My wife was as patient as a snail, but the kids bustled about as if they've been down here a lifetime. Cody was mad when Beth took the game-boy from his hand, just before some big important checkpoint. Angie was calling Beth completely unfair for not letting her invite Tom over to come swim as well. My wife told her, "This is a family event, no exceptions, and for Pete's sake, listen to me for just this once!"
I just stood there, in quiet grief. Their voices were mere sounds, plastic and surreal, and I went along with it as if everything was alright. But it wasn't alright. The world was falling apart all around me, miraculously still turning, and I just stood there! Finally I reached for the doorknob, when I realized I still had the snow globe in my hand.
I looked at it longingly, with affection, and it came to me. A slightly crazy idea. Not the kind where it's life or death, but the fact that it was a spur of the moment decision, it felt totally crazy. I placed the snow globe on the mantel above the fireplace, where the glass caught the sun just right and the jolly Santa shone a brilliant red.
Allow me this simple pleasure, I asked God in silence. Let the neighbors gawk and smirk all they want. Let the kids think their father's going senile, thinking it's December and not August. I didn't care. I just watched the little flakes twinkle through out the water-filled dome.
I displayed it proudly, knowing that good will, kindness and love were never out of season. So I picked myself up out of my gloomy state, got inside the car, and slid into the driver's seat. "Alright, let's go!" I said cheerfully, and everyone looked surprised.
"Dad, is everything … okay?" asked Cody, from behind. But no answer was necessary. I just smiled, and looked across at Beth without a care in the world.
And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
First Published in Dual Coast Magazine Issue #3
NOTE: I've written a few short stories, but this one is special to me. It was well received by my family, and I was so excited to discover it was accepted by a magazine. It was my first non-poem to be published.
Copyright © Timothy Hicks | Year Posted 2016
It's Christmas Eve and through the house
there creeps a curious little mouse.
He climbs into the big arm chair
and finds the cookies waiting there .
He only takes the smallest bite.
Santa will find his treat tonight.
He gazes with wonder at the tree
and the bright wrapped gifts left there to be
a mystery tale to tell his spouse,
when he gets home, this curious mouse.
What an adventure it has been,
he has drunk of some spilled gin
that had been left upon the table.
His wife will think it is a fable
he has concocted to amuse her.
She is homebound, we must excuse her.
He once came home all out of breath
to say he had been scared to death
by a huge rat with fluffy tail.
She noticed he was very pale.
"While I was nibbling off some cheese
to bring to you, my love, to please,
he almost had me in his paws.
I'm sure he wasn't Santa Claus".
But this night is so very quiet.
He spies some fruitcake, has to try it.
It reminds him of that sip of gin
and wonders if his head will spin.
He hears a noise, runs for his life,
carrying fruitcake for his wife.
Christmas morning, spread before their eyes
for the baby mice, a grand surprise.
Their mama had fixed a Christmas feast
from food their dad had saved from beast.
A bit of butter, a glob of jam
and a fairly good-sized piece of ham.
Bread crumbs saved from other forays.
They had enough to eat for days.
Those little mice would never waste it.
If they didn't like it, they'd still taste it.
This food their mama set before them,
their dad risked his life to get it for them.
Copyright © Joyce Johnson | Year Posted 2014
It is not just Santa Claus who we meet in cold December—
There is “Carolina,” and she’s the beauty of a winter picture perfect
With luscious long coal black curly hair far down on her back
As a true fairy princess, Carolina is quite beautiful with beaming
Blue eyes and that certain incandescent glow for all to see and
Dressed in a sparkling white robe made of polar bear skins
With a glossy coat sprinkled with pearls and diamonds . . . .
Out of the woods she comes so quiet in the night’s fresh snow
With a glimpse of two deer and a fox on hunt walking carefully
Carolina hopes the deer will walk around with angelic guard
The secret is that beautiful Carolina talks the animals’ languages
The birds they play in all its splendor fine without sorrows
They fly while Carolina keeps watch carefully on the horizon
Falling snow now dazzling Christmas in a ball circle most brilliant
While there is a frozen frosted sprinkling silver in the mist shining sun
Oh so!! Wonderful to behold as the Spirit of Christmas comes alive . . . .
The Reindeer come alive and begin dancing joyfully together and
Create such a melodic sound almost like bells ringing aloud
And the all the Reindeer are here in their resplendent glory:
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen,
And Rudolph, with his red nose so beautiful and oh so bright—
And the sounds the Reindeer make stay in the minds of the little
Children just like sweetly wishing little voices wonderful in dreams
With those singing, tunes a dancing light appears so wondrous
While planes from all over the world begin landing with cargo
And one each day with loads of letters from good little children
And Santa Claus begins calling the elfin troops into action while
The Leprechauns do all the heavy work as they are much tougher
But the old fighting Irish in them showing their softer side all the
While with a drop of the old fiery dew to keep them warm smiling
Like the very wee little Devil in them - mischievous and all . . . .
They do all the heavy work for the elves as they have more of a spring
In their step while almost bouncing on the tip of the their toes like
Little jumping springs so full of boundless wonder and energy and
Then day after day the letters keep arriving and landing at the North Pole
And they begin working like mad and very busily in the North Pole factory
While Santa checks the letters of all boys and girls through a secret window
And when he shakes it he sees through the mist in a glass bubble of the
Christmas treats while hurriedly calling together all of his Reindeer . . . .
The sound of hooves on the snow saddles up the sleigh he is very slim
To start off while all his helpers are loading up and he flicks the reins
And the bells start ringing and - in a flash of magic dust in spirit sings of
The ground waving he bade Mrs. Claus a very fond and loving farewell
And off he goes in a flash of light Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! echoing in the distance
Each chimney sliding down he eats the food throwing some to the Reindeer
Treats left after the night's over he feels so fat eating so much he heads back
Home to the North Pole while smiling so content at the children’s happiness
And ringing in his ears filled with golden smiles and wishing everyone a very
Merry Christmas he falls asleep after Mrs. Claus makes him a hot chocolate
Really tired but easing his weary bones year after year he loves his job very
Much so and all of the sheer delight that his efforts and those of Mrs. Clau
And his elfin helpers and the joy and fun of the Reindeer bring to all children
On this Earth!!
Merry Christmas to All!!
Anne-Lise Andresen, Liam McDaid and Gary Bateman – A Collaborated Poem,
Copyright © All Rights Reserved (December 9, 2014) (Free Verse)
Copyright © liam mcdaid | Year Posted 2014
each ornament renews
kisses, laughter, loved ones remembered
each ornament renews
victories, struggles, from bounty to barren
each ornament renews
cradle to grave, sweet memories rush back
each ornament renews
strength to survive, with loved ones near
each ornament renews
each ornament renewed
james marshall goff
Copyright © James Marshall Goff | Year Posted 2009
She was the smallest of all the angels
although all the other angels were at
least five feet tall,
Susie the angel was no larger than a Barbie doll.
She was by far the cutest of all the Angels
but little Susie was a little sad this Christmas Season.
She had wings that's for sure, so she could reach
the top of Christmas trees but the toppers
were always too heavy which made Susie sad.
She spoke to the other Angels about it
of course they all offered to help her.
Susie explained she was thankful
but she really wanted to do it on her own.
That's when it happened Susie
right then and there became the first
Angel to shed a tear.
She had turned so no one saw,
but Susie felt badly.
The next day while alone Susie
thought of her troubles and it happened
again, except this time it was many tears.
"Wait" Susie thought "my tears sparkle".
So she thought more about her sadness.
More and more tears flowed.
That is when Susie realized this was all meant to be.
The next morning Susie visited her favorite homes
as she flew over the trees and spread her tears.
From that day on their were changes.
All Christmas trees would sparkle with
the glitter of Susie's magic.
Susie wasn't sad at all she wasn't even crying.
She had been picked to be the Christmas Angel.
The one that made all trees sparkle.
Now Susie no longer worried about placing toppers.
To honor Susie changes were made to Christmas trees.
They were topped with a star that resembled her tears
or a small Angel just like Suzie, one that made
the whole tree glitter.
Sponsor: Carol Eastman
Contest Name: Children's Christmas or Holiday Tale
Copyright © Maurice Yvonne | Year Posted 2014
The old man had always had an unnatural fondness
for the animal but could never seem to bond with human easily,
with the exception of a special, dear grandmother. His mind
wandered back to his childhood, the Christmas eve of 1958 about
a special chore that he was required to do of his parents…….
To be or not to be
One two three,
Five more to go…
The eight year old counted the puppies his female Border collie
had given birth to only three days earlier. The words of his parents
echoed in his ears, “We can’t have so many dogs around the house,
we can’t feed them all. You will have to dispose of them,
she is your dog, your responsibility.” The lad wiped the tears from
his eyes, as he prepared reluctantly to smash another head against
a large stone which he had selected. “Smash!” not a whimper.
He had become proficient at this chore.
To be or not to be
One two three four,
four more to go.
The remaining puppies snuggled together for warmth in the cold
December breeze. I can’t do this his conscience screamed as his
young mind reasoned, “You have to, mom said, and dad will be home
in the evening. You will get a licking such as you have never gotten before.” “Smash!” not a whimper. The blood trickled down his finger tips.
To be or not to be,
One, two, three, four, five,
Three more to go, He looked at the huge stone, “The killing stone” he
thought as he prepared to finish all three of the remaining puppies
in one swift moment if possible. “Smash! Smash! Smash!” It was over
he gave a sigh of relief as he gathered the tiny, still bodies into a small
shoe box that was to be the coffin of burial. He quickly buried the box
with the puppies’ corpses inside. He knew this was one chore on Christmas
eve day that would haunt him for many days perhaps years to come.
In Honor of Carol Brown
Copyright © john freeman | Year Posted 2011
As December winds swirled the snow in drifts outside
Lisa covered Mama, held her hand as she cried
“It’s my last Christmas, I know it in my heart, dear
Send my prayers to God; deliver them with my tears”
“Hush, Mama, you can’t die; Tommy needs you so
And his tour of duty still has six months to go”
Mama fell asleep, Lisa bowed her head in prayer
Adding her own tears, she asked that Tommy be there
“Please let my brother see Mama just one more time
When her eyes open, may it be her son she finds”
Tears fell on the floor as Lisa kept vigil
Beside her cancer-stricken mother so fragile
Awakening to see Tommy standing nearby
In uniform he appeared; Lisa exhaled a sigh
“God sent you home, I knew He would, our pleas were heard”
Tommy stroked his sister’s hair, saying not one word
‘Twas then Lisa saw Mama standing behind him
Aglow in heaven’s light were her mother and twin
“How blessed we’ll be – together on this Christmas Day!”
Lisa exclaimed, just before they faded away
Confused, she saw her ashen mom so still in bed
‘Neath the door a telegram, Tommy too was dead
And though there were tears in Lisa’s blue eyes so bright
Her loved ones would spend Christmas together in God’s sight
A smile came as candles flaming in the window grew
Lisa realized one Christmas she’d be with them too
*Rhyming narrative for Paula Swanson’s “Tear” contest
Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2010
Love is a season.
And holidays mark the seasons, and years like signs in the road,
reflecting the bumps in our journey, but showing us a way back home.
Sixteen, in pajamas, watching the rain pelt down,
it was long past midnight, Christmas eve.
Twinkling lights on one house across the road, stared back at me.
It was if they were trying to fill our dark house with color.
The block was filled with a hundred lighted windows.
But the blackness of our own, somehow, seemed more appropriate.
There was no Christmas tree in our house that year.
I suppose Dad felt it was too soon, or perhaps just the effort to get through each day
had taken all the strength he had.
We had stayed up and watched a Christmas program together.
Perry Como, I think it was, for I think I remember he sang "Ava Maria", and Dad got teary eyed.
My brother had come home from the Air Force earlier that week,
trying to help bring us a bit of cheer,....at least, for awhile,
but he had been called back to duty, and I missed him terribly.
The house was silent after Dad had gone to bed.
I wasn't sleepy,....and it was lonely looking out at the cold night
It seemed the whole world was sleeping, waiting for Christmas.
As I finally headed for bed, I noticed a light had been left on in the front coat closet.
I opened the door, and looking up, to pull the chain, I noticed the box.
The shoe box that had kept the sugar cube house, safe, dry, and out of harm's way.
A sugar cube house that Mom and I had made together when I was 8 years old.
Little sugar cubes stacked into walls, and a roof, glued together with red frosting.
We had copied one out of her Good Housekeeping magazine that year,
and had surrounded it with little trees, and a oval mirror pond, and items we had found at the 5 and 10 cent store. She had carefully packed it all away last year.
After her last Christmas.
Late into the night, I sat in the dimness of the house, laying out the sugary scene on the fireplace mantel....just as Mom would have done.
When the freckled morning moved into day...I woke on the sofa...Dad sitting next to me. He had covered me with a warm blanket, and had fallen asleep beside me.
After breakfast....he disappeared outside, and soon came in carrying a sorry looking branch from our old evergreen tree.
We decorated that bedraggled branch...it wasn't the most beautiful tree we had ever had, but it brought Christmas back to my family.
For Deb's Contest: A Christmas Tale
(Inspired by "The Match Girl" By H.C. Anderson
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2014
Daddy, were you alive when Jesus was born?
No honey, he was born a long time ago, over 2000 years ago.
Where was he born Daddy?
In Bethlehem, a small town in the desert in a manger,
Whats a manger Daddy?
It's a place where they kept animals to feed them.
You see when Jesus was born the Inn was full, so
they had to get Mary to a warm place to give birth to Jesus.
that was the only place they could go.
Daddy who is Jesus' Daddy?
God is his Father honey?
But who is Joseph?
The Chosen Father, who God chose to raise him, Mary's Husband
I don't understand Daddy!
God wanted a son, he could not have a son without Mary and Joseph's
help. God asked them both if they would help him, without even thinking
they said yes. God gave to them a great gift, God gave them Jesus.
At that moment God gave us all a great gift, He gave us the Son of Man.
The Son of Man Daddy?
Yes honey, you see God is not Man, not one you can touch, Jesus
was, he healed people who were sick, He showed people how to love God
and how God loves them. There is one more important thing
I want to tell you honey.
What's that Daddy? Jesus did a coupla more things I think are
important, there are many of course but two I like.
Go on Daddy!
Jesus taught us how to love without conditions, like the way I love you
and you love me and your Mom and Brother. But how to love everybody
like that. The most important thing is, is that he died because we humans
broke God's laws, which means we sinned. He died so God would
Wow Jesus really did love us didn't he Daddy...?
Yes he did baby, and the really good thing is he still does and always will.
Come on it's time for bed!
Not until I say my prayers Daddy!
How bout we Pray together tonight?
I'd like that Daddy!
So would I baby, so would I .
Jump up on my back and I'll give you piggy back ride!
I love you Daddy!
I love you too baby, I love you too.........
My Christmas wish is you all have Conversations like this with your
kids. Trust me they bring tears of joy!
May God Bless you all this Christmas Season as he has Blessed me.
From Mary, Josh, Shay and myself MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR
Copyright © Richard Pickett | Year Posted 2010
The sandwich was probably only two days old
School had let out for Christmas vacation on the 23rd
And now on Christmas Eve Sam had found it -
lunchbox and all - in an alley behind Clarke’s Super
The kid had taken a couple of bites of the apple – now
gone brown- but left the roast beef sandwich whole
“Too damn much mayo!” Sam frowned
“But boy am I hungry!”
Licorice the cat – so named by the neighborhood kids –
was hungry too and let Sam know it with his most
Sam was street-wise an old cardboard box dweller who
had tenanted many boxes many alleys in his time
Yet this was no “Hello puss whose puss are you?”
animal summons for attention
The yowl had a bone-rattle desperation Sam hadn’t heard
Licorice blended with the night
But stood out even against the gloom
She was pressed against an empty oil barrel back arched
on the tips of her paws so almost skeletal
Sam couldn’t help but sigh
It was Christmas Eve and despite the location – a forlorn
back alley – a string of lights (from somewhere) were
The red-green-gold shown against Licorice’s satin fur
Charmed the (already charmed) night
Charmed Sam the Box Man
“Well I’ll be damned!” he gulped
Then threw half the sandwich to the starving kitty
“Merry Christmas old beggar.” Sam smiled
Copyright © daver austin | Year Posted 2010
What is that
in our western sky
some kind of star
coming near by
it's radiance seems
as bright as the sun
but bowing to the night
it's beauty for reason
so compelling that
star in the sky
it's dazzling light
amazes my eye's
that star without words
beacons me to follow
my soul being bared
for something sacred and hollowed
Yes that is the star
our ancestors spoke of
i can see it with my eye's
that star is filled with love
quick quick hurry let's go
follow that star
where ever it goes
or weather far
no matter what
follow that star
for it was told
by ancient and old
that star would bring
our God and King
can't you see
this wonderful thing
Gods birth on earth
is where this star beams
there in the distance
gathered are the shepards
the lowly lowly shepards
soon to be joined by kings
"all men of the earth"
the angels did sing
to such a lowly place
this star did us bring
to a child born
in the company cattle
but worshiped by kings
accompanied by the light
of that stars wonderful beam
a lowly lowly place
for the birth of the King of Kings
the place long for told
as the birth place of the King
we were humbled
by the mystery of this birth
this is the way
God would visit earth
with lowly shepards
under a bright bright star
humbled to be like us
to be near not far
Copyright © john loving iii | Year Posted 2009
We were poor, but my brother and I didn’t know it.
Before Christmas my dad would take us to find just the right scraggly
fir tree..a wonderful afternoon tramping around in the woods.
Old and worn decorations..we were delighted to open the crate
and unpack them; it was like seeing old and beloved friends again.
The red velvet car was my favorite.. his a bedraggled Santa sled.
We always had a present or two..but the most exciting gifts were
in our stockings. The stockings were my dad’s work socks..washed
and pressed for the occasion. They hung with pride, beautiful to us.
One year I got a fishing pole in my stocking. It was stuck through
a hole in the heel. I thought that Santa was the cleverest
of men. Imagine..using that hole to my advantage!
My dad’s boss would give us the same thing year after year.
A crate of oranges, something we never had at any other time.
I can still see the juice on my hands as we devoured that special gift.
I wouldn’t trade those Christmas memories. The greatest gift was feeling
warm, and safe…and loved.
Copyright © Barbara Gorelick | Year Posted 2009
She stood at her window,
looking out on the world,
alone this Christmas,
this frightened young girl.
The night had come,
without making a sound,
as the snow began falling,
lightly powdering the ground.
when she said I Do,
her childhood sweetheart,
and their love so true.
Ready to see,
this world as one,
planning their first Christmas,
so much left undone.
Then one day,
that dreaded letter arrived,
orders to leave,
and she held it and cried.
When he came home,
he held her close,
trying to comfort her,
reminding her, why he had to go.
He told her softly,
I love you so,
but I am a soldier,
this is what I chose.
Decorate our tree,
in red, white, and blue,
and this time next year,
I'll be back home with you.
Merry Christmas to our Military,
their families, and friends.
We love you all,
and our prayers we send......
Copyright © Christy Hardy | Year Posted 2008
Each year as Christmas rolls around, as I buckle under the pressure and stress of shopping for gifts for people that already have everything, I find myself remembering that Christmas of 1954.
Dad had joined the army that year and we moved from the East Coast of Canada to Ontario, leaving behind our extended family and the only home I had ever known in a small fishing village along the Bay of Fundy.
Now we stood gazing in horror at the rows of ugly buildings sitting on barren land in the middle of nowhere. This was the housing provided by the army being part of the soldier's wage.
My mother was inconsolable until dad rented us a small apartment over a Chinese restaurant in downtown Barrie. There was no remuneration by the army for forfeiting the housing, so it left dad with a very small pay-check.
Pay day was once a month and we usually ran out of money in the last week, so off we would go to the pawn shop with dad’s prized possession; his short-wave radio, won for superior marksmanship.
Being kids, we finally adjusted to our new world as we watched the Santa Claus Parade march below our living room window amid the honking horns, blaring bands and throngs of people lined along the streets as far as the eye could see as we laughed with glee.
We had seen them on our way to school in the window of the bicycle shop; gleaming with chrome spokes and handlebars and hand grips adorned with multi-coloured streamers. There I would stand until my feet grew numb from the cold, daydreaming of riding back to the East Coast. I could actually see the sun glistening on the waves as I raced along the ocean on the way to grandma’s house. More than once I had to stay after school for being late.
My brother thought maybe if we were really good, Santa would bring those bicycles to us. I being the older and therefore the wiser, knew the state of the real Santa’s affairs and promptly convinced my brother I had heard from a reliable source Santa had a shortage of bicycles this year and we would just have to earn the money and buy them ourselves.
We worked it out on paper and realized if we saved our ten cents a week allowance, it would take years to pay for them, so we decided we needed to get a job. So began our first enterprise ‘Hal and Elaine’s snow Removal’.
Each day after school we would go door to door offering to shovel the snow from sidewalks and driveways for a fee of twenty- five cents. Each day we would return home with our frozen hands clutching a quarter and our minds clutching the visions of those bicycles as we prayed for snow once again.
Mom had taken a job working from home to add to the family income. Each night she would soak piles of leather pieces to soften and stretch over balls of twine to stitch together the next day, the end product – a baseball. Mom stitched hour after hour, day after day until her fingers bled.
Dad would come home from Camp Borden after many hours of hard labour and army maneuvers to have supper and make us giggle and laugh with his outrageous stories of the day’s events. For several days, he left after supper, returning hours later with red and blue paint stains on his hands and a tired smile on his face. No matter how many times I asked him where he had been and why he had paint on his hands, he would never tell, he simply made a game out of it by saying GUESS.
The days flew by in a blur as we shoveled up and down the streets dreaming of those bicycles that grew more solid with every quarter we put in our piggy banks. I would go to sleep each night and ride through towns and cities and over hills and through valleys until I heard the sound of buoy bells ringing in the harbour.
I would pedal faster and faster, knowing I was almost there. I could see my old home just down the road. As the bells got louder, I would slowly awake to the truth as the alarm clock wound down on the night stand. Once again I would head off for school and stand daydreaming, peering at that gleaming bicycle in the window of the bicycle shop.
Suddenly – Christmas was almost upon us and we needed to buy mom and dad a present, so we pulled the plug on the piggy bank and took our loot, a total of four dollars each to Woolworth’s.
Oh – the glorious things we saw – shelves full of toys and household goods, glass counters with hundreds of bottles of perfume and cologne, shaving gear, tropical birds and fish and mountains and mountains of candy. What to do – what to buy?
We scurried from one counter to the next, overwhelmed with the endless things to choose from as we stammered and stuttered like a couple of idiots. Finally, we decided on a bottle of ‘Lily of the Valley’ perfume and a pair of gloves for mom and ‘Old spice’ cologne and gloves for dad.
We then separated to buy presents for each other agreeing to meet at the soda fountain afterwards where we decided it was only fitting we should have a banana split and a Coke to celebrate the occasion.
As we sat there with our lips covered in butterscotch and ice cream, the gravity of the situation began to sink in. We had spent our entire savings and with that realization, we licked our lips and decided the bicycles would have to wait another year.
Copyright © Elaine George | Year Posted 2017
Finally – it was Christmas Eve and we put the presents under the tree and hung our stockings at the foot of the bed. In a few hours, those stockings would be filled with barley toys, ribbon candy and chocolates. I could hardly wait! As mom tucked us into bed, I looked out the window and saw it was snowing again. It snowed all through the night as I lay in my cozy bed dreaming of that glorious bicycle again.
Christmas morning we awoke to the sound of the radio which was now home for Christmas after a long stay at the pawn shop as ‘Joy to the World’ rang over her airwaves.
We dashed to the living room where mom and dad stood beside two bicycles with gleaming chrome and multi-coloured streamers; not the ones from the store window, but the most beautiful bicycles I have ever seen, a red one for me and a blue one for my brother.
There I stood, my heart overflowing with joy and love as I remembered my mother’s blood stained hands and my father’s blue and red stained hands - these hands of love that changed two second-hand bicycles into the greatest gift I have ever known and taught me the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas.
May the magic of that Christmas from years gone by, find you and fill your heart with joy.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Copyright © Elaine George | Year Posted 2017
A little girl lost her home this year, for her, Christmas wouldn't be there.
Her family was angry from all the troubles, they simply couldn't repair.
Don’t bother us about presents her parents said, they were depressed by their fate.
With bitterness they said, you’d be lucky to have dinner tonight, or even a plate.
Life was harsh, nowhere to go, anger and fear had put their souls, in a terrible place.
The little girl had found no hope or joy, lurking near their old car, of late.
The car was their home, gas money was scarce, and with few places they could park.
Yes, their troubles had slowly extinguished, that precious hopeful spark.
Without that spark, they’d never find their way, from this terrible place of cold and dark.
And life’s darkness grew deeper nightly, as hope vanished under a reality so stark.
Even the very fiber of her family, seemed to be shattering slowly, slowly, apart.
The child felt alone here in this dark car, as sadness tried to engulf her little girls heart.
The future seemed filled with hopelessness, as shame and dread, were leaving their mark.
Embarrassment to be seen and turned away, made it hard for them to reach out, to restart.
But life goes on, and we can’t fear to rebuild, or the future will be hard to impart.
The girl suddenly declared there’s more to life, and she wouldn't let it conquer her heart.
She decided triumphs will come, and all will get better, if she held to that hopeful spark.
Seeing the desolation and anger here, she couldn't stay around, she had to get away…
So she climbed out of the car, and she walked into town, not so very far to stray.
She went and looked at the store windows, where Christmas was being displayed.
The music and people filled her heart, lifting her spirits, deep inside, that day.
She noticed a store, way down at the end of the row, on the next block, where it lay.
No one was there, it seemed lonely, and the darkness was again, spreading it’s decay.
She ran there in time to see an old man closing up, with sadness on his face betrayed.
What use were his goods, if no one would shop, or come down along his way?
The super store down the block, was daily making him lose more and more in the fray.
He could no longer afford to hire people, and the season had very little time, to stay.
As they talked the girl saw that she couldn't let the darkness take another, so she prayed.
Then she told the old man, if he’d open the shop, she’d bring customers down his way.
She added, she’d find reasonable workers, if her family could live upstairs, she portrayed.
First bring the customers, he said, and the rest will be yours little friend, he conveyed.
She had him put his best toys, as a contest prize, and to add lots of lights on the display.
He set a contest, “Winners-the best collectors for families in need” on Christmas Eve.
He put out a bright contest sign, but still nobody came to his end of the block, to survey.
So she had him call the Salvation Army, for a kettle, Bell ringer, and Carolers, who came
Lickety split, their way.
Then she had him call a dear old friend, and farmer, to bring a tractor full of bails of hay.
Another volunteered his horse and sleigh, both, to see the city lights thru New Years Day.
This was a great idea, since the older drivers, could use the help, for their bills to pay.
The girl ran all over spreading the excitement, and to come see the prizes, his way.
The families suddenly started heading toward his door, and to those wondrous rides.
At that moment her parents came, and she explained what her hope, had improvised.
Her father talked a contractor into building a disabled family a home, to help advertise.
He could get a tax break; come to this store for supplies, and hire unemployed workers, he devised, so wise.
In the end, each night grew brighter, because of a girls hope, and heart-warming delight.
And the old man began smiling for the first time, in a long, long, time, starting that night.
All was saved, a home was found, and another built, as a sad little girl taught grownups to smile along the way…
You might say, A Spark of Hope lit a candle, then a raging fire, which was burning bright by Christmas day.
The moral to my story is:
Never give up on Hope; it’s your best friend, as life brings its troubles your way…
Know that with time, a good heart, good will, and friendly ways…
You can find God’s gifts again, if you don’t let the dark take you away…
Copyright © Carol Eastman | Year Posted 2013
As evenings dark began to close in
a little girl wipes her nose on her sleeve.
Listless and hungry she walks in the snow
a poor and lost soul, one cold New Year’s Eve.
Her dead mothers slippers were much to large,
they were flip flopping while crossing the street,
two wild carriages coming full speed
made her lose them, now she walks in bare feet.
She glances in windows as she walks by,
families eating and making good cheer,
her pains from hunger she tries to ignore,
she’s starving and freezing, poor little dear.
The north winds cold breeze keeps blowing her face
catches her breath as it blows back her hair.
She spots a dark alley where she can lay,
Tired and windblown she can no longer care.
She curls in a ball tucking frozen feet
carefully under her old blanket cloak,
she leans on the building, closing her eyes
now given up and her spirits are broke.
A shaggy old dog, nudges her gently
she hugs him and draws him close to her heart,
smiling she whispers, we’ll go together
when Jesus finds us, we’ll never more part
Then both of their eyes close, she bathes in dreams,
sitting at a fire, with food on the hearth.
When she awakes, a lady stands smiling,
pats the old dog saying, good boy old Barth.
The Little Match Girl by H.C. Anderson
Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.
Written by Brenda Meier-Hans
Contest: A Christmas Tale
Sponsor Debbie Guzzi
Copyright © Brenda Meier-Hans | Year Posted 2014
Maud, the meek poverty stricken seventy year old matriarch
of the people spoke proudly as the relief shown on her face.
“Two weeks ago I had tests run at Sparks Medical Center in
Fort Smith they told me that my old body was almost totally
eat up of cancer. I ask a brother at that time here in the church
whom I respect and have faith in to pray. He simply said as he
laid hands on me, them that believe shall lay hands on the sick,
and they shall recover. (Mark 16:18 KJV) Why that is all he said
as he asks me to agree with him.”
“I stand before you today, one day before Christmas, totally free
of cancer. I was scheduled yesterday to begin receiving radiation,
but when they did my blood tests again they could not find one
trace of cancer. My doctor said he just could not explain the miracle
that had apparently taken place. You apparently know a doctor who
is far greater than I am.” Tears of gratitude flowed down Maud’s old,
weathered cheeks as the whole church stood and rejoiced with their
precious matriarch mother. This was a Christmas eve of rejoicing like
non other, and there was not a dry eye in the whole church.
A true story from 1987 in Moreland Arkansas Free Full Gospel Church.
This charitable hearted lady lived several years after this and died of simple
old age at around 90 years of age.
Contest: Your Christmas Miracle
Copyright © john freeman | Year Posted 2011
It had been two days since Christmas
The one where the fates had granted me my fondest wish
A shiny, red, Schwinn bicycle..... a basket in the front, and a bell to ring
On that cold December night, the sky was stained by the color of alarm
My young mother leaving her warm bed at three in the morning
without tying her robe, rousing us all with calm haste
Deep red reflections seeped through the mud-splashed window screens
as she shooed us downstairs, down the raw-grained stairs,
pushing us from behind with her two hands
out the door, and onto the frost-slick back porch,
into the wee hours of early light
By then, wide-eyed, we stood and watched the fire from a safe distance,
as it consumed our garage. And, my bike.
From the frame of the doorway, and the top step's narrow slat
she enveloped me in her folds of chenille to keep me from shivering.
The cool of her hand on my shoulders,
watching my dad in his attempt with a hose
warning him to keep safe,
while sounds of sirens wailed in the distance
When I looked up into her face, with anxious eyes
I remember her soft, reassuring voice
"Hush now, don't cry"
"We'll find another one, just like it"
Then, I remember looking down, at her bare feet
turning blue in the cold
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2013
Location: My oldest daughter’s house
Date: 2008 - 7 months after her death
Age: 59 years old, feeling more like 80
Event: Traditional Christmas Eve party
Emotional status: It was finally sinking in...
and so it was that:
Like most we wandered and wavered
and fell for the Devil's wily ways
But not on that night...
On that night all sins were forgiven
Curses dissolved into blessings
Tension melted in the glow of good will
Evil evaporated in the light of truth
Death succumbed to life...
Hugging our sons and our daughters
gently scolding wayward grandchildren
sipping on Eggnog spiked with Bacardi
slapping old friends on the back
bragging and telling tall tales
laughing hysterically at our lies
On that night there were no missing pieces
On that night the wounded world was healed
On that night, on that one blissful night
it all made sense...
Submitted for: Kelly’s ‘Christmas Past, Present or Future’ contest
Copyright © Tim Ryerson | Year Posted 2014
In our little town all is as it should be
We gather down at the Christmas tree
Us simple folk are not too greedy
We all bring gifts to give the needy
Light the tree and sing our songs
As everyone seems to get along
Especially bright this time of year
Everyone has Christmas cheer
I love the lighting of the tree
The entire towns hospitality
How everyone shares their love
Giving thanks to the Lord above
We live what Christmas is all about
Come on over and check it out
You’ll find love flowing abundantly
The night we light our “Christmas Tree”
Copyright © Michael Jordan | Year Posted 2009
TEARS ON SANTA'S CHEEKS
Daddy's little girl is going.
Daddy's little girl is slowly leaving...
it's what the angels are singing
Outside there are ringing laughter, however--
in a hospital bed
which was cold white as the snow
lies the body of a little girl,
d e a d.
Her little soul just had to go.
She just had to go ahead than the others.
Her once sun kissed face now the palest cream.
Her once twinkling eyes now shut so tight.
The glow of light and love she always bring
was lost on Christmas night,
as Santa stood in red and white
holding a present on his hands
staring at the child
his eyes wet with falling tears
for his little girl has died.
12:02 am, November 27, 2014
Copyright © Olive Eloisa Guillermo - Fraser | Year Posted 2014
--A CHRISTMAS MEMORY--
Twelfth midnight, big bell in the Church nearby singing Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong!
Floating Christmas carols and cheers bubble to plague warmth the freezing air!
Old and young wearing wide winsome smiles, they hug and kiss in delight,
while I in my scrub-suit is calling! Calling the father of the newborn, I am holding!
~A Christmas Memory - Poetry Contest
Sponsored by: Broken Wings~
__Olive Eloisa Guillermo__
November 25, 2015
Copyright © Olive Eloisa Guillermo - Fraser | Year Posted 2015
Love is a season
And holidays mark the seasons, like signs in the road
Reflecting the bumps in our journey, but showing us a way back home...
Sixteen, in pajamas, watching the rain pelt down
It was long past midnight, Christmas eve
Twinkling lights on one house across the road, stared back at me
It was if they were trying to fill our void with color
The block was filled with a hundred black windows
And the blackness somehow seemed more appropriate
There was no Christmas tree in our house this year
I suppose Dad felt it was too soon, or perhaps just the effort to get through each day
had taken all the strength he had...
We had stayed up and watched a Christmas program together...
It was Perry Como, I think....somehow I remember how he sang "Ava Maria"...
My brother had come home from the Air Force earlier that week
He had helped bring us a bit of cheer....at least for awhile...
but he had been called back to duty, and I missed him terribly...
The house was silent after Dad had gone to bed
I wasn't sleepy....and it was lonely looking out at the cold night
It seemed the whole world was sleeping,
getting ready for the sun to shine on Christmas morning...
I started to head for bed, but noticed a light had been left on in the front coat closet
I opened the door, and looking up, to pull the chain, I noticed the box...
The little box that kept the sugar cube house
It was one that Mom and I had made together when I was 8 years old...
Little sugar cubes stacked into walls and a roof, glued together with red frosting.
We had copied one out of her Ladies' Home Journal....surrounding it with little trees, and
people skating on a mirror for a pond, things we had found at the 5 and 10 cent store
Carefully packed away last year, on Mom's last Christmas....
Throughout the night, I sat in the dimness of the house, laying out the sugary scene on the
fireplace mantel....as Mom would have done .
When the freckled morning moved into day...
I woke on the sofa...Dad sitting next to me. He had covered me with a warm blanket.
He held me and we cried together.
After breakfast....he disappeared outside, and soon came in carrying a sorry looking branch
from our old evergreen tree.
We decorated that bedraggled branch...it wasn't the most beautiful tree we had ever had
But it brought Christmas back to my family...
For Constance La France's contest "Your Saddest Christmas Ever"
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2010
We gather on the streets
Lining up in the cold
Waiting just to see them
Remembering days of old
The harnesses made of leather
Their bells are colored gold
Horses pull their carriages
And prance into our souls
Here come the Christmas carolers
But Santa steals the show
As the children gather candy
Look how their little eyes glow
Our hearts filled with Spirit
We enjoy each rendition
The Old Fashioned Christmas Parade
A Lawrence, Kansas tradition
Copyright © 2009 Lena “Lolita” Townsend
*inspired by Carolyn's "Christmas in Your Town" contest.
Copyright © Lena Townsend | Year Posted 2009
I take the gun and place the cold barrel to my temple.
I have to free myself and hand shaking.
I don't deserve this.
Am I selfish feeling this and head pounding.
I take a chance and cry out to GOD.
Please, If you care and those selfish people laughing.
What's so funny?
You disgust me with your smiles .
Suddenly I once again withdraw the gun from my head.
And taking a cigarette and lighting it and crying.
Hate is to kind for you.
Bitterly the wind has blown and your still smiling.
It's blown away but leaves me your laughter.
As I pace and trample that smile with cold fury.
The Postman delivers your Christmas card and I unwrap you.
What is this?
Its our story and I start at the end.
I know that part of your gift.
Its fresh and my wound needs salt so I can breathe.
But reading back I see us when it was laughter.
To the moment I linked my soul to you and hitched a ride.
And looking down I see that gun.
What is it doing in my lap and God smiles.
Copyright © Patrick Cornwall | Year Posted 2011
I was sitting in the crowded train station with time to waste, waiting on the train to take me home on Christmas Eve. A very pretty, young lady, carrying a full backpack headed for one of the only open seats across the aisle from me next to a rather dirty and disheveled older man.
As she removed her backpack to sit down he glared up at her; she smiled a beautiful bright smile and said to him, “Merry Christmas”.
“I don’t celebrate Christmas”, he barked up at her.
“Yeah? Well, that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy on the day that I celebrate Christmas. And I hope the day is merry for you as well.”
“What is there to be merry about”, he moaned, “A bunch of hypocritical religious zealots pretending to be nice to one another while the world goes to hell in a hand basket.”
“Well, at least for that one day, most of us believe the hypocrisy, and even for just a few hours, we practice the morals that our religion tries to instill in us. At least on that one day, for us religious zealots, there is a glimmer of hope that we can save the world from going to hell and, I, for one, believe that is reason to be merry.”
“Terrific! And, what does that get me,” he whimpered.
“Well, what you get is this one time of year, when a twenty-two year old college girl is not afraid to sit next to you; smile at you; and, wish you a Merry Christmas. And, if you just say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ back to her, she just may give you the biggest and best kiss you have ever experienced.”
She stood back up and started to put her backpack back on as he simply stared up at her. Once she was situated and ready to move on towards her train, she stopped; smiled at him again; and, said, “Merry Christmas.”
It seems I was not the only stranger that was witnessing this exchange. All of those around me were perched on the edge of their seats waiting to see what might happen. The old man cracked a little smile. A glimmer came to his eyes, and he said, “Thank you. And, Merry Christmas to you, too.”
The girl leaned down and planted a kiss right on his lips for what seemed like ten minutes. Smiles lit up the faces of all the men, women and children watching this take place. When the girl finally pulled back, the old man was frozen in place with a big ole smile on his face. She adjusted her backpack and started heading towards the tracks. All the men she passed on her way who witnessed this exchange anxiously yelled, “Merry Christmas” as she passed, hoping for a kiss as well.
I looked back at the old man who was still in a dream. Suddenly he caught me looking at him and barked, “What are you staring at?”
I just shook my head back and forth and said, “Merry Christmas”.
“Yeah! Well Merry Christmas to you, too” he shouted.
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2012
Christmas is a-coming
With all it's joys and toys
No matter our age
We never lose that little child excitement
Every Christmas morning, our hearts start pumping
Anxious to know what the jolly old man
Has left for us under the tree
The smell of pine, the glitter of the tinsel
The multitude of colourful twinkling lights
Happiness reigns supreme
I wonder if Santa heard me ask for my special gift?
Will Mom, Dad and my sister like what I bought them?
At no other time of the year are families so close
If only we could bottle up the love and enthusiasm
And let it out when we need it through the year
That jolly old man is watching with a big grin on his face
To see how much happiness he has bestowed on us
And hopes it will last till next time he rides into town
Ahh! Christmas, there's no other time like it
Christmas is a-coming
With all it's joys and toys
Happy, happy, happy! Merry Christmas to all!
© Jack Ellison 2014
Copyright © Jack Ellison | Year Posted 2014