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A Simple Grade School Christmas Pageant Shaped My Life

12/09/2011
by

Another Christmastime is upon us and I start my seasonal reflection on the many  years gone by.

Dad always told me that “the older you get the faster they go!”

It would be wonderful to have him around one more day so I could tell him how smart he got the older I became.

Don’t know why it is at Christmas but I always seem to like to write a poem or two. It might be my “Victorian” side, as my Mom would say, coming out and expressing itself.

The first Christmas Pageants I can remember was when I was in fourth grade and I had a short solo.

The song was the old carol, The Holly and The Ivy.

Mom said that simple grade school pageant, plus my solo, made The Holly and The Ivy her favorite “Christmas carol.”

Every year at Christmas, my Mom made sure that song was playing on the record player as we celebrated the Christmas dinner.

Even after I reached adulthood and I would come home for the holiday, I was greeted with the smells of cookies, turkey, twinkling of Christmas lights and the sound of that carol ringing throughout the house.

Now I’ve reached my 66th Christmas. Everyone from my past seems to have gone, but I still see my parents gathered around the dinner table and hear that childhood carol ringing in my ears.

Ah Christmas, such a magical time of year.

The Grade School Pageant.

I close my eyes,
And quietly slip into the sanctuary of memories.

There,
Echoes of a tune
That I sang in childhood.
A simple melody of my youth,
A carol of Christmas pageants gone.

Its centuries old refrain
Lingers among the hazy vision
Of specters now at rest.

Ancient words
Numb the body like a Winter chill
As I see the child I was
In the comfort
Of those who protected me.

Dizzy senses filled with pipe smoke.
Crackling fire lit logs,
Dancing bubble lights upon the tree,
Her gentle hand,
His warm smile,
Forever haunting.

The choir of my school days softly sings,
“Of all the trees that are in the woods,
The holly bears the crown.”

*You can read Tristan’s complete collection of poetry, along with other Christmas selections, at All Alone in a Crowd.

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