Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

The Best Christmas Gift

What’s the best gift to be given?
Not money, shoes, or clothes –
(Except for those with few of those.)

Not boats or cars, maybe a star?

Not gadgets, nor widgets,
Nor books, nor cosmetic looks,
Not TVs or DVDs –
Though they do entertain.

The gifts so needed
(Repeat as needed)
Are loving looks, and kind replies,
And holding tongues that want to curse
Or say the worst.

Not criticism, cynicism,
Ingratitude, nor attitude.
Just humbly listening
When you’ve heard that story 100 times.

Do I have to be first?
I must go to the end of the line.

The Quiet King

Do you ever feel like the Drummer Boy?
Nothing to bring to the quiet King.
Nothing to give, except your sin.

Do you ever look inside yourself,
But empty finding, look above.
It’s only there, that there is Love.

And then open your heart to let Him in.

Christ is My Hope

I love cemeteries. They are quiet and peaceful. I think of the people resting there and hopefully they are completely at peace.

So Christmas day, my kids and I took a walk to Maple Leaf Cemetery in Oak Harbor, Washington. The walk itself was brisk, both in speed and in the weather. After a few meanderings we found the cemetery. One grave I saw was of a three-and-a-half month old child, which brought me to tears. Then, a young man of 28, obviously well loved. More tears. As I walked, a group of people across the cemetery seemed to be having a party. They had their car door open, and Christmas music came from its radio. Perhaps celebrating Christmas as they remembered a life well lived.

The final grave I looked at is pictured here. “Christ is My Hope” was the epitaph. I can honestly say that is true for me.

I just now noticed that there is no date of death, and that the birth date was in 1915, which means the person is now 98 years of age. I am glad the person has faced the reality of death and has the hope of resurrection.

Just a few days later, we visited my uncle by marriage, who is now 100 years old. He still walks an hour a day using his walker. His mind is still pretty sharp. What an amazing man.

Still, we never know when we might go.

131225 Maple Leaf Cemetery 002x

The Village Kitty

Under a spreading Christmas tree

The village kitty lies;

The kitty, mighty cat is he,

With large and glaring eyes;

The talons of his furry paws

Are sharp as kitchen knives.


His hair is thick, and orange, and long;

His face is rather tan.

His tongue is wet; he won’t forget

To lick his owner’s hand.

And also licks the same one’s face,

For to lick he thinks is grand.


Week in, week out, from morn ’til night,

You can hear his vig’rous purr;

Can hear his little kitty bell

Whenever he does stir.

He slinks around his owner’s house

And loves his owner well.


And children coming home from school

Look in at open door;

They love to see his glaring eyes

And hear his mighty purr,

And watch as he does stretch and turn

And lick is lengthy fur.


He won’t go Sunday to the church,

For it is not too near;

He’ll miss the preaching, and the choir —

His meowing would cause fear.

But singing in the village choir

His owners do with cheer.


Rolling — stretching — yawning,

Onward through life he goes;

Each morning sees the food put out,

Each evening sees it go;

Something eaten, something caught,

He’s earned his night’s repose.


Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy cat,

For lessons thou has taught!

If I could sit around all day,

I hope I’d not be caught!

I better not so lazy be

Or poor will be my lot.



[With apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

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