Friday, December 1, 2023

"One Christmas in the Early 50's"

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Photo credit: Country Living



I sat with my nose pressed

against the frosty kitchen window,

staring hard into the black starry sky

looking for snowflakes,

searching for Santa in his sleigh,

straining to see a tiny red light

that might be the tip of Rudolph’s nose.

Mommy said Santa wouldn’t come

until I went to sleep,

so I put on new flannel pajamas

trimmed with red piping,

and went to bed.


I heard noises, elfin noises?

Kneeling on my bed,

peering out the window,

I spied my father

dragging evergreens from the car.

Soon I heard Mommy, Daddy,

Aunt Carol and Uncle Fred whispering,

heard them rustling around

moving things, the buzz of a drill.

I worried that the commotion

would keep Santa away,

but soon my eyes wouldn’t stay open.


I awoke very early

and roused Carol and Frankie.

We tiptoed downstairs

where we were dazzled by a fir

decorated with big bright bulbs

and bubbling candle lights,

shiny glass balls,

silvery tinsel shimmering

reflections in the glow,

and a glittering star way up on top.


Aunt Carol was curled on the sofa,

Uncle Fred lay snoring

in an overstuffed chair.

Beneath the tree was not

the perky Toni I prayed for

and asked Santa to bring

when I sat on his lap at Quackenbush’s,

but a different yellow-haired doll

with little pink curlers,

an oversized tricycle

with a fresh coat of chartreuse

and a Chinese Checkers game.

My sock, bursting with candy,

hung from a cardboard fireplace

covered with red brick printed paper.


Soon our aunt and uncle awoke,

then Mommy and Daddy.

We were told Daddy

had taken the last scrawny pines

from an abandoned tree lot

after his night shift at Wright’s.

He and Uncle Fred drilled holes

into the trunk of the best,

fitted in branches from others.

They stood it on a stand

with Daddy’s old green Lionels

circling around.


Carol and I bundled and walked

to Mass at St. Bonaventure’s,

leaving our new toys behind.


When we got home,

there was sausage and eggs,

a stollen coated with powdery sugar,

filled with tiny pieces

of red, green and yellow fruit,

(which we picked out),

and mugs of rich steamy cocoa,

with a big Campfire marshmallow

melting and bobbing on top.


Maude Carolan




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