December 25—Christmas is here!

Finally!

In case you need another reminder about what Christmas is really about, here’s my final poem for the holidays.

PAINT ME A POEM

 

that’s black with night

and the white of a star

and the golden sheen

of heavenly crowns.

Add the faded blue

of a mother’s gown,

the gray of sheep,

a manger-bed brown,

plus the pink of the skin

of a newborn babe.

Paint me a poem

with a brush of hope.

Title it

                        CHRISTMAS.

© Ann Whitford Paul

As always, I wish you a stress-free, love-filled Christmas!

December 1—24 days until Christmas—December Weather

Take a deep breath because it’s time for wild weather.  Here’s another poem.  I hope it makes you feel grateful you’ve already finished so many preparations.

HOLIDAY WEATHER

It begins with

a light breeze,

fluttering

brightly colored cards

into mailboxes,

tinkling bells on street corners.

The winds

pick up speed,

pushing people

to stores,

swiping money

from their pockets.

And then

great gusts

pound wreaths on doors,

drop Christmas trees

in living rooms,

toss tinsel on each branch.

With the thunder of door knockers,

blizzards of aunts and uncles

gather together

to share this December storm.

© Ann Whitford Paul

And now’s the time to pull a paper out of your advent calendar and have fun with your family.  Enjoy your stress-free, love-filled month.

November 24th–31 days until Christmas–Gingerbread–Yum!

Start your baking now.  Store your cookies and cakes in the freezer and pull them out when unexpected guests and the big day arrives.  I’m doing exactly that.  Then while I’m off Christmas night helping everyone recover from the big day, Santa and the elves will have plenty of food to keep them content.  The baking inspired me to write this poem.

GINGERBREAD MEN

Their sugar-spice smells

escape from my oven,

slide over the floors,

waft through thick walls,

squeeze under closed doors,

glide up the stairs,

creep into closets,

sneak beneath chairs,

haunting my house—

sweet ghosts of December.

Now a confession . . .

I’m lazy when it comes to baking gingerbread men—all that rolling and decorating is too much for me.  Besides I’ve never found a recipe that isn’t dry and, even though spicy, tasteless.

Instead this year, I’m making these gingerbread cupcakes.  A dash of red or green food-coloring, or red or green sprinkles makes them look festive and they’re delicious.

DSCN0423

Our next post is Thanksgiving Day.  I hope you’ll be so busy with your family that you won’t have time to check my blog until Black Friday while everyone else is out fighting the mall crowds.

May you have a stress-free, love-filled Turkey feast.  All the elves are coming so I’d better get back to cooking.

154 days left until Christmas—A Gift of Poetry, Part Two

You have your list of the favorite things about a special person, (maybe more than one), but have no idea what to do with it. The easiest kind of poem where you don’t have to rhyme or worry about rhythm is a poem with repetition. All you have to do is think of a repetitive phrase such as:
You make me happy, because . . .
I love the way . . .
You are my center . . .

Then arrange it into a poem. Using my list from last week, I wrote this about you-know-who.Santa Claus

How can it be that
you are always thinking of others,
you never get tired of your job, and
you are always kind to your elves?

How can it be that
the twinkle in your eye never disappears,
your cheeks stay so rosy and
your laugh is deep and true?

How can it be that
on the busiest night of the year you remember me with a gift,
you can’t wait to return home, and
share stories of your journey?

How can it be that
you chose me
to share this merry adventure
with you?

Think of your phrase and start writing. You may not get it right the first time. All poets revise. Work on your poem until you feel it expresses your feelings honestly. Then print it up with a pretty font and tuck it in an envelope.

Anyone want to share their poems? I’d love to meet your special people through poetry.

Come back next week for some homemade gift suggestions that are equally kind to your bank account. If you start them right away, you’ll be finished in plenty of time to have a love-filled, stress-free holiday.

July 16—162 days until Christmas—A Gift of Poetry, Part One

When it’s frigid up here at the North Pole, and I’m stuck inside, I try my hand at poetry. This one I wrote about my dear, beloved husband.Santa Claus

SANTA CLAUS

Two pink-cheeked words
that twinkle merry,
laugh Ho, Ho, Ho,
smiling on each girl and boy.

Christmas Night
those two words fly
through the sky
carrying a pack filled
with laughter and joy.

Why don’t you write a poem about someone special in your life? It will be the most cherished gift under the tree and remembered long after neckties and nighties are forgotten. Better yet, it doesn’t cost a penny. All it takes is time and because there are so many days until Christmas, you have plenty.

You’ve never written a poem?
It’s not hard.
Make a list of all the good things a person does for you and all their loveable qualities.

Here’s mine of some of Mr. Saint Nick’s finest qualities to get you started:
The way you are always thinking of others,
The twinkle in your eye
Your ho, ho, ho laugh that comes from deep down,
You never get tired of your job.
Your rosy cheeks.
How kind you are to your elves, making sure they have plenty of breaks.
How on your busiest night of the year you always remember me with a gift.
You say I love you, every time you leave
And every time you return home.
You appreciate a good meal.

That wasn’t so hard was it?
Now it’s your turn.
Make similar lists of all the important people in your life.
Next week, I’ll share how to turn your list into a poem—a loving gift if there ever was one!

Hope you had a Glorious Holiday

Although your lights aren’t off yet and your tree isn’t down, the poem is still appropriate to what I want to say.

The lights are off.

The tree is down.

Each ball and bauble

packed away.

Christmas is gone,

But . . .

beneath my bed

I keep one bell

with a silvered ring

to sing to me,

Christmas will come again.

          As sure as the sun rises, as birds cheep, and snails creep, Christmas will come again . . . in just 363 days.  I hope this blog has helped you save time and reduce stress.  I hope it’s brought you new ideas to enrich your holidays and tasty recipes that will become part of your Christmas repertoire.  Although this is my last posting, I promise you just like Christmas, I, too, will return next year with more new suggestions to brighten your holiday.

Until then, let’s all strive for a stress-free, love-filled YEAR . . .