Christmas All Year ’round

Children look forward to Christmas each year

To toys and presents and Santa’s good cheer

But why do we leave Christmas in December

The joy of Christmas we should always remember

*

The gift of God’s grace coming down to Earth

To live in our hearts and give us worth

So spread God’s love both near and far

Share Christmas joy where ever you are

Give of yourself and lend a hand

To both friend and stranger across our land

*

The joy of Christmas is not in the getting

The true spirit of Christmas is in the giving

Show love and compassion to all you meet

The real joy of Christmas is really a treat

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Love

Unpacking Christmas a box of loving gifts

Full of sweet memories that bring me a lift

Remembering my students’ love shared with me

Ornaments of beauty to hang on my tree

A shiny brass apple with name and date

A stained glass window made on a plate

Homemade Rudolph made with clothes pins

Cotton ball snowman and angels with wings

So many memories from yesteryear

Much love remembered sweet and clear

*

Grandchildren come to help each year

Oohing and awing is what I hear

And I smile remembering back on those days

When love was shown in so many ways

My tree’s not filled with bought decorations

But a tree filled with love from a past generation

And when it’s all over we’ll pack them away

Storing the love for another Christmas day

I treasure the gratitude each one brings today

Feeling the love that will never goes away

******

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I discovered that I already posted this poem back in November… Did any of you notice this??

Christmas Grace

This week I am going to post some or my Christmas poems from past years…

Christmas Grace

What do you want for Christmas she asked?

A chemistry set would be a real blast

When Christmas came, this angel of grace

Was at our door with every gift in place

*

We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast

Waiting for Christmas was always a great task

But we knew our selected gift of choice

Would make us shout from the top of our voice

*

What do you want for Christmas this year?

She would get it no need to fear

Just a hammer of my very own

Would make my day when you come to my home

*

Money was scarce and gifts were few

But, at our house we always knew

That no matter what the circumstance

We need not worry about chance

*

What do you want for Christmas this time?

A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine

Then I could be like Henry and Donn

A bat of my own yes, that’s the one

*

Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind

No children of their own they did not mind

Bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids

And that helmet they brought me surely did

*

What do you want for Christmas, she asked?

She never let a Christmas pass

Every year until I left home

My gift of choice would become my own

*

I will never forget that act of grace

And the joy and smiles she brought to my face

I learned of God’s love and his saving grace

And his only son Jesus who took my place

*

And now each Christmas I hear that voice

“What do you want for Christmas, it is your choice?”

There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy

Than the gift of God’s Grace to a little boy

*

(Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker,

who made our Christmases a little brighter when I was a child)

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Love

Unpacking Christmas a box of loving gifts

Full of sweet memories that bring me a lift

Remembering my students’ love shared with me

Ornaments of beauty to hang on my tree

A shiny brass apple with name and date

A stained glass window made on a plate

Homemade Rudolph made with clothes pins

Cotton ball snowman and angels with wings

So many memories from yesteryear

Much love remembered sweet and clear

Grandchildren come to help each year

Oohing and awwing is what I hear

And I smile remembering back on those days

When love was shown in so many ways

My tree’s not filled with bought decorations

But a tree filled with love from a past generation

And when it’s all over we’ll pack them away

Storing the love for another Christmas day

I treasure the gratitude each one brings today

Feeling the love that will never goes away

This poem was published in the Old Mountain Press poetry and prose anthology, Enjoy the Holidays. If you have an Amazon Kindle subscription, you can read it for free at:

The Color of Christmas Songs

Synethesia

The Colors of Christmas

So many wonderful memories

wrap themselves around my brain

as the colors of Christmas come alive

with every Christmas song.

Rudolph conjures up that little red nose

along with Frosty the Snowman’s black hat

and his eyes made out of coal.

Silent Night shines in that warm yellow glow of the stable

And angelic voice sing in robes of pure white.

White Christmas swirls with white snowflakes

along with Jingle Bells dashing through the snow.

Elvis brought out the Blue (in) Christmas matching our

Twenty-twenty Covid year… remembering those we love.

Who could imagine Santa Clause Coming to Town without seeing red

or the little green elves who make the toys;

Or, You’re a Mean (green) One Mr. Grinch

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear in the blue black sky

full of silver twinkling stars.

And who could forget Silver Bells ringing

above a street covered with snow…

As we Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly crisp and green

The colors of Christmas are felt with every song

Today at d’Verse Grace took us back to the concept of Synethesia, which occurs, for example, when one sense such as music makes one see colors. It can happen with any of the senses. This evening we are looking specifically at music. I have never experienced synethesia in the literal sense, but I decided to look at how Christmas Songs automatically bring colors to mind.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Taking Down Memories

IMG_E1295.JPG

Today I took the ornaments off of my Christmas tree, and packed them back in the box, to store until next year. I enjoyed looking again at each ornament, remembering that many of them came from my former elementary school students. Some I remembered; others had names on them. You may think an ornament is an insignificant gift, but mine have hung on my tree every year since 1970.

Gifts bring back mem’ries

Each one was a warm spot in my heart

Winter of my life

IMG_E1293

IMG_E1294

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Letters From Valley Forge

EER_0310 (2).JPG

During the cold winter encampment at Valley Forge, Washington rallied the troops. A big Christmas surprise was about to take place. While the  British partied in Trenton, Washington loaded his men in boats and crossed the icy Delaware River in the dead of night for a surprise attack. The victory that took place would continue to be remembered in American History. I can imagine the letters sent home told exciting stories as the New Year came rolling in.

Christmas Victory

Brought troops hope for the New Year

Winter snow still falls

***

Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem related to New Years.  As I thought about those freezing cold soldiers camped at Valley Forge, I wondered what they must be thinking as Washington laid out his plan to attack the British in Trenton, NJ. This is my Haibun about that time.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/12/28/haikai-challenge-119-12-28-19-new-year-shinnen-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

 

 

Songs, Frozen in Time

winter 2020 041 (2)

The songs of Christmas have endured for many years. Some are hundreds of years old and others more recent. Some have tried to change them or add to them, but the originals seem to be frozen in time; enjoyed over and over again.

Christmas chimes remain
Frozen like well loved carols
Waiting for a voice

winter 2020 075 (2)

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Birdhouse for my Grandson

IMG_1164 (2)

This year we got our nine year old grandson his first tool box with real tools for Christmas. To help get him started, I cut out a birdhouse out of some scrap cedar lumber that I had in my garage.  I predrilled the holes and put in the screws. When I was finished I took it all apart and put the pieces and the screws in a zip-lock bag for him to put together. It will be a good project for him to complete.

Bag full of pieces

Grandson’s first Christmas project

Winter house for birds

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Happiness and Joy

IMG_0351 (2)

Christmas is a time when many think it is what we get that brings happiness and joy. What often happens is that after all the gifts are exchanged and the holiday decorations are back in the box, the mood changes from happiness to depression and loneliness. What is the difference between happiness and joy in our life. I posted this poem earlier, but I felt that it might be appropriate for this Holiday season.

Happiness and Joy
Happiness is a little bird
Perched on the rail
Right within my grasp
Only to fly away
The moment
I reach out to take hold of it.
Joy is the blood
Pumping through my veins
A constant rhythm of rejuvenation
Not something to be possessed
Rather something to be
Joy is what keeps my soul alive

Photo: Dwight L. Roth