Christmas Traditions

by Kristina Woodhill

December 1st
Play list:
Burl Ives' Holly Jolly Christmas,
Roger Whittaker taking us
Home for Christmas,
Harry Simeone's Chorale
giving me, finally,
one Holy Night this year,
the message simple,
Peace on Earth
Good Will to All

These musical expressions
trigger memories
throughout our home,
playful notes and spiritual
drift and sweep upstairs and down,
draping musical garlands
joined by colorful lights
strung and flickering,
framing windows from where,
on cloudless nights,
we attempt to coax inside
distant stars
with all their enticing secrets

One night, each December,
music and lights,
good wishes and pretty packages
are overshadowed by the raucous sounds
of my husband's favorite holiday movie,
The Christmas Story

Our house howls
with my man's laughter
at the irreverent language
of Ralphie's dad vs the faltering furnace,
the screaming Ralphie and brother, Randy,
being chased by the neighborhood bullies,
wildly barking Bumpus's dogs making off
with the family turkey, resting on the kitchen table,

Ralphie's dad's outrage
after his wife, patience spent and wily
like a woman,
accidentally knocks over
his prized sexy leg lamp
into an irreparable pile

as Ralphie with his brand new
Red Ryder BB gun
does, indeed, shoot his eye out


Author's Note: The contrasts of our traditions are sometimes stark, hilarious, and unexpected.

Posted on 12/03/2018
Copyright © 2021 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 12/03/18 at 05:37 PM

Fun read, Kristina. Makes me want to write a new Christmas poem. Especially like how you open with the listing of songs, all quite good.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 12/06/18 at 10:32 AM

Love your poem Kristina, am particularly enamored of the part about attempting to coax the distant stars inside.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 12/07/18 at 02:44 PM

I too like the coaxing of the distant stars. So many Christmases past hung with garlands of choirs, bells, and laughter used to bore me, but this year, for some reason, they seem particularly bright and uplifting. Yesterday I was in a store decked with all kinds of decorations, and Christmas paraphernalia and it was a delight, especially hearing the children's giggles and high-pitched exclamations, "Oh look mama!" Thanks for the memories and the fresh look, dear lady. Merry Christmas! Hear those words in the dulcet mysterious tones of the voice of Johnny Mathis.

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