Wednesday, December 14, 2011


(I wrote this a couple of Christmases ago.  I think it's evident why I'm not a poet.)


Four years old.

First one awake.

Lying abed, saying,

"Happy Birthday, Jesus."

Can't wait anymore.

Run to den.

Christmas tree glowing.

"Santa" has come.

I already know--

It's not Santa--

Mom and dad!

There's still presents!

Strawberry Shortcake and

Tupperware play set.

Lite Brite and

Other random things.

Sister and parents.

(No brother yet.)

Playing with toys.

Eat Christmas brunch--

Maybe, or not--

I don't remember.

Was there a

Cake for Jesus?

(We used to

Do that every

Year at Christmas.

But not anymore.)

Go to Grandma's.

Family and food.

More presents there.

Aunt Barby wrapped

Hers in paper

From Sunday comics.

I liked that.

Smells all around.

Perfume and tobacco

Dogs and cats

Other random smells

That were normal

For Christmas, like

Cinnamon and Peppermint.

Maybe there's snow,

I can't remember.

Mom says something.

I do remember.

She told me,

"The older you

Get, you'll want

To give more

Than you receive."

I was four

And I looked

At her like

She was crazy.

Who would ever

Want to give

Better than getting?

Mom was smart.

Mom was right.

Mom's often are.

Right, that is.

It is better

To give than

To get stuff.

This Christmas is

Different from others.

Christmases will never

Be like they

Were before, but

They've been changing

For a while.

Grandma's not here.

There's more family.

Young cousins, nieces

And nephew get

To experience their

Own childhood Christmases,

While I spectate.

I'm not four.

I'm grown up.

Christmas is still

Magical to me.

There's still wonder.

I'm still the

First one up.

I still lie

In bed, saying,

"Happy Birthday, Jesus."

And I know

The gift He

Gave to us

Is better than

Anything we could

Ever try giving.

But He doesn't

Ask for much.

Gold, Frankincence, Myrrh.

What are these

Gifts to the

King of Kings,

Lord of Lords?

There's nothing we

Have that He

Could ever need.

The angels said

It was for

His good pleasure

That God gave

Peace to mankind,

Glory to Himself.

And if He

Finds pleasure in

Giving to us--

Becoming a servant

Seeking and saving

All the lost--

Well, He's God.

He can do

Whatever He wants.

When you create

The universe you

Get to make

All the rules.

That's the deal.

Our worth is

Only from Him.

And so I

Must receive more

Than I give.

It's full circle.

Growing up means

For me, anyway,

Learning to give

More than receive,

But also, learning

To receive what

I can't give--

From the Lord

Who has grace

Enough to spare.

And suddenly I'm

A child again.

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