At An Old Man's Remembrance From Childhood, Of Christmas

[after fluid_form's poem, "middle-aged panic"]


When I was a child, the Christmas season

fascinated me---taking all too long to arrive,

and lingering all too briefly.

But, in my childish, and inexperienced, perspective

that people elder to me in year might call

trivial naivete,

my emotions were repeatedly, and delightfully moved

by what I, then, termed the "smaller gifts,"

those items given to my parents, and sometimes me,

at holiday parties (given at work or at school;

or by various organizations, or the several branches

of our rather prolific and extended family;

or even from the other couples with joined

my parents in interminable rounds of pinochle).

These, after being opened, were set beneath the tree.

And they were like the stocking stuffers I found

on Christmas Day, that I cherished even more

than gaudy, expensive, catalogue company objects

that always seemed to crowd out the smaller gifts,

or pushed aside the relevance of the stocking stuffers;

and blocked the three-railed track of the battered,

and sometimes, struggling, O-guage Lionel Train.

But, in childhood I had an understanding---

that too much adulthood had purloined,

and too much aging affliction has restored---

that Christmas is about Christ, Who does not disdain

to walk among, and even to invite and gather,

the humble items that are often shunted aside:

the least of the lesser of the most unimportant of which

is very often, almost universally, us,

who have not ceased since before, and after,

that day in the Praetorium of the massive Fortess Antonia,

to spit upon Him, or into His pitying Face.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The last two lines allude to Mark 15:15, 19.


The poem cited in the headnote is at

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i like this very much... it

i like this very much... it reminds me of the increasingly terrible dreams i'm suffering each night... no joke... i awake humbled... i have lost my smirk... i'm becoming increasingly convinced that there is a wisdom and understanding that begins to dawn upon an overconfident narcissistic mind with the realizations and discoveries restricted to age... it is a bittersweat beauty... i hope i haven't completely misinterpreted your meaning with my projected  subjective perspective... i think Jesus Christ is great... as a self-defined atheist-nihilist, i find Jesus to be one of the most interesting unique persons in human history... a great Man, no doubt.