'Twas the Night Before Christmas

By Tracy Keenan

December 24, 2014

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the land

There was anger, anxiety, not quite what we’d planned.

All opinions were strung across Facebook with care

In hopes that our memes would make great changes there

The worries were nestled like rats in our heads

Healthcare and college, retirement-type dreads.

Ebola and terror, racism and Sony

Remember when all you asked for was a pony?

So we shop and we spend and we hang decorations

We eat and consume all without hesitations.

We look back and dream of sweet Christmases of yore

When no one was greedy, no one wanted more.

When people were kind and no one would muff up,

Where people were true and never made stuff up.

We’d rather be anywhere than here, so it seems.

We yearn and we search and we dream our daydreams.

Aunt Lucy is late, ‘cause she forgot Gram.

Cousin Heather is a vegan, upset about the ham.

Uncle Walter is tipsy and Nate’s on his phone.

The carols are playing, your heart’s like a stone.

And the big world is ugly, society’s gone mad.

We’re obsessed with St. Nicholas, who’s good and who’s bad?

So we miss the small miracles that stroll through our lives,

The welcome embrace or the chance that arrives

To let go of bygones, let folks be as they are

Let our own selves be guided By the light from the star.

There’s the laugh of an infant, The grin of one older,

The sharing of tears, the support of a shoulder.

But we’d easily miss it, yes, that is the danger

When our attention is anywhere else but the manger.

It’s hard for the holy to enter the ossified

Where is there room in a heart that’s preoccupied?

So we listen and look, and we take a deep breath;

You can feel life expand, you can feel the love spread.

It’s all in the story of right here and now,

The Christ Child is born ‘though we don’t know just how.

The holy it comes in simplest of ways

If we just pay attention In our ordinary days.

Can you hear the old message? It’s strong, and it’s clear.

Merry Christmas, Christ is coming, every day of the year.

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