Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I believe this year I am less like this poem than ever before.
But it is still good to contemplate.

“The Month Before Christmas”
by Jaena Womack

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the town,
Every person was busy – no joy to be found.

With their calendars full and great plans made with care,
They knew that the holidays soon would be there.

I’m all ready to go, with my red Santa’s cap
Though I’d rather hole up for a long winter’s nap!

The family is coming for turkey and pie;
There is work to be done; there are groceries to buy:

Cranberries, plum pudding, mincemeat and hams,
Flour, sugar, eggnog, marshmallows, and yams,

Cashews and pretzels and chocolate for dipping,
And full-caffeine hazelnut coffee for sipping,

I can’t forget ice cream -- six quarts, Neopolitan --
Good grief! I may need a sleigh just to haul it in!

Yes, it’s happened again: preparations gone wild,
And I’m half-Martha Stewart half-Julia Child.

Yet there’s still more to do! Let me show you my list –
I have shopping and wrapping and my kids insist

That we spend one whole day finding just the right tree,
Then we finally select one at least nine foot three

Which we drag to our house through the ice and the sleet…
(Never mind that our ceiling is only eight feet.)

Now it’s off to the mall for a fourteen-hour sale
With holiday coupons received in the mail.

With such bargains around…well, it isn’t too hard
To max out my VISA and Discover card.

So I head for our home with my presents in tow
And if this year is much like the past years, I know

As I pull in the driveway and walk through the door,
I’ll be greeted by sounds of my husband’s loud snore.

My children have fallen asleep on their beds
With clothes still on bodies and hats still on heads.

I grab the remote and turn off the TV,
Collapse on the couch, almost too tired to see…

I’ve run myself ragged with plans so sublime
Now I ask, “What’s the point? Is it all worth my time?”

In the silence I treasure a brief interlude;
My thoughts become clear, and I humbly conclude

That it’s not in the presents wrapped under the tree,
It’s not in the friends or the family you see,

Of course it’s not Rudolph or old Santa Claus,
Or donating money to some worthy cause.

No, it all traces back to the night long ago…
To the mother and child and the story we know

But we often forget as we bustle around,
The true meaning of Christmas can only be found

In the birth of a baby – the long-promised king
Who caused shepherds to wonder and angels to sing.

That’s why we celebrate, though some don’t know,
Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, and so…

What I whisper aloud as I turn out the light
Is not, “Merry Christmas, to all a good night.”

Rather “Glory to God in the highest” and then
“Peace on the earth and good will to all men.”