The Day after Christmas

Dec 26

Each year I share an original poem entitled “The Day after Christmas.” It reminds us that Christmas is not only a day or a season but also a lifestyle. May we celebrate the good news of Christ coming into the world year-round. 

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all were asleep

The twenty-fifth had left them all tired and beat.

The stockings were slung carelessly on the floor

Stripped of their contents and of interest no more.

The children were exhausted, collapsed in their beds,

With visions of sleeping-in fixed in their heads.

And mama in her flannel and me with my mate,

Were in hopes that we too might get to sleep late.

When out in the front there arose such a racket

I sprang from my bed like a frightened jackrabbit.

I stubbed my big toe on the way to the door,

And set off the alarm system on the first floor.

The early sun’s light shone bright on the toys

Left in the front yard yesterday by my boys.

Then I saw a car splashing right through the muck,

A red, white and blue delivery truck.

My head was aching and my stomach felt ill,

As the postman delivered a hand full of bills!

The charges were listed in dollars and cents,

Payment would empty the United States’ mints.

Now, Visa! Now, Penney’s! Now, Macy’s and Rich’s!

On, Walmart! On, K-Mart! On Abercrombie and Fitch’s!

November and December we had a great ball,

Come January, we owe something to all.

I made my way through a maze of presents piled high,

Looked again at the bills and gave a great sigh.

Turkey bones roosted on the dining room table,

Yesterday we ate all we were able.

I tried to turn on the new espresso maker,

Complete with a digital, alarm clock waker.

My family stumbled slowly down the stairs

As cordial as a den of hibernating bears.

I bent down to pet our faithful dog, Carl,

But he snapped at my fingers and let out a snarl.

My wife dressed quite quickly and shouted to all,

“I’m going bargain hunting all day at the mall!”

The children slammed the door behind them as well,

Going to friends’ homes for Christmas show and tell.

And I collapsed in my brand new easy chair,

To see how my favorite football teams would fare.

I held a glass of Alka-Seltzer firmly in my fist

Regretting last night’s snack I should have missed.

During halftime I arose from the recliner,

My team was ahead and the world seemed much finer.

Wading through the wrapping paper piled knee high

Something on the mantle piece caught my eye.

Half hidden beneath discarded ribbons and bows:

The manger scene had been placed weeks ago.

Carefully clearing the bright paper away

I witnessed the reminder of that first Christmas day.

The Christ child rested in a bed simple and small

Sent by God into the world to save us all.

Nativity figures of that first silent night,

Made it quite clear what had been lost to sight.

“A Happy Christmas to all!” is because of God’s son,

On the day after, our Christmas has only begun.

  

6 thoughts on “The Day after Christmas

  1. White Christmas by Robert William Service

    My folks think I’m a serving maid
    Each time I visit home;
    They do not dream I ply a trade
    As old as Greece or Rome;
    For if they found I’d fouled their name
    And was not white as snow,
    I’m sure that they would die of shame . . .
    Please, God, they’ll never know.

    I clean the paint from off my face,
    In sober black I dress;
    Of coquetry I leave no trace
    To give them vague distress;
    And though it causes me a pang
    To play such sorry tricks,
    About my neck I meekly hang
    A silver crufix.

    And so with humble step I go
    Just like a child again,
    To greet their Christmas candle-glow,
    A soul without a stain;
    So well I play my contrite part
    I make myself believe
    There’s not a stain within my heart
    On Holy Christmas Eve.

    With double natures we are vext,
    And what we feel, we are;
    A saint one day, a sinner next,
    A red light or a star;
    A prostitute or proselyte,
    And in each part sincere:
    So I become a vestal white
    One week in every year.

    For this I say without demur
    From out life’s lurid lore,
    Each righteous women has in her
    A tincture of the whore;
    While every harpy of the night,
    As I have learned too well;
    Holds in her heart a heaven-light
    To ransom her from hell.

    So I’ll go home and sweep and dust;
    I’ll make the kitchen fire,
    And be a model of daughters just
    The best they could desire;
    I’ll fondle them and cook their food,
    And Mother dear will say:
    “Thank God! my darling is as good
    As when she went away.”

    But after New Year’s Day I’ll fill
    My bag and though they grieve,
    I’ll bid them both good-bye until
    Another Christmas Eve;
    And then . . . a knock upon the door:
    I’ll find them waiting there,
    And angel-like I’ll come once more
    In answer to their prayer.

    Then Lo! one night when candle-light
    Gleams mystic on the snow,
    And music swells of Christmas bells,
    I’ll come, no more to go:
    The old folks need my love and care,
    Their gold shall gild my dross,
    And evermore my breast shall bear
    My little silver cross.

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  2. There is so much truth in what you write. I will cling to the last line and celebrate the fact that Christmas has only begun! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  3. Thanks Pastor Bill: How well each of us can identify, as parents, how things go “On the Day After Christmas.” These posts are very helpful in keeping us all aware of proper thanksgiving regardless of our human frailties. Wish you, your family and our church family a terrific 2015.

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