by Cindy Johnson Harper
In a world that is too busy year-round
is it any wonder that when we add
shopping wrapping decorating
cooking festive meals, baking special treats
crafting homemade gifts, addressing cards and
hosting fabulous parties while looking smashing ourselves
things can become a bit overwhelming
and we’re left feeling like the stage hands
for someone else’s Christmas play?
We commiserate with one another
asking what’s wrong with us, and why we can’t get in the spirit
so perfectly portrayed by the media this time of year,
while at our house the party outfit from last year
no longer fits, and it’s hard to find
two socks or gloves that match
and everything that’s a cheerier shade than gray
shows dog hair and or lint.
Take a tip from this weary
career-woman-wife-mom-grandmother aka elf …
if your Christmas spirit doesn’t catch flame
until you see the faces of family, friends and neighbors
illuminated by candle light in church on Christmas Eve
you’re not behind the curve
you are right on time;
while the rest of the world has been mistakenly celebrating Christmas
you, my friend, have correctly observed Advent
a season of preparation,
and your Twelve Days of Christmas
have just begun.
Claim them for your own
as the gift they were meant to be
a season of joy, celebration, reflection, wonder and light
the Boxing Days of the working class
twelve festive days to absorb the gift of a Savior
amid the perks of your labors,
twelve silent and holy nights.
Cindy Johnson Harper, December 2017
Cindy Harper’s poetry has been published in the journal, Art With Words Poetry Quarterly, 2010 Texas Poetry Calendar and in the poetry anthologies, Beyond Katrina and Amazing Grace. Her short nonfiction has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul, II. She is the author of one chapbook titled Cactus Flowers and Cowboys. Cindy participates in a weekly poetry group facilitated by Certified Poetry Therapist and founding editor of the Texas Poetry Calendar, Lianne Mercer. Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tarleton State University, Cindy is also an alumna of the Write to Publish conference held annually at Wheaton College in Illinois.