‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

When I was a little girl

Mamma stayed up at night,

Watching the oven bake

Some Christmas magic inside.

When I was a little older-

Mamma stopped baking cakes,

Well, looking back I don’t blame her

I had a sister on the way.

I used to crawl out of bed at night;

The eve of Christmas day…

Would wait till the clock struck twelve,

With an enormous smile on my face.

I don’t think anyone noticed,

And that seemed to be the best part-

In the secrecy of that moment ,

I used to feel joy that filled my heart.

Then the next day morning,

We’d have breakfast as a family

Things you never get any other time of year:

My nanna’s special treats.

We’d sit around the Christmas tree-

As I played Santa’s little elf,

And handed out the wrapped presents….

With my little sister’s help.

Then we’d break into song

In so many different keys,

So maybe we weren’t angelic hosts,

But it meant the world to me.

Something always seemed to happen,

I can’t really tell you what,

Because even the most mundane things-

Seemed to be enchanted of a sort.

Schools would let out for winter break….

And I’d miss my friends a ton,

We’d talk of all we could do during the holidays:

All the ways we would have fun.

But then we all grew up a little more,

And priorities filled our plates,

There was no more song or cheer,

Only work that couldn’t wait.

It broke my heart a little

But I didn’t want to complain,

After having been so blessed,

I wasn’t going to be an ingrate.

The air was rent with the sound of song

But the words rung a little hollow,

Because they weren’t from the ones I loved-

The melodies rang shallow.

It feels like the Grinch stole Christmas-

But there was no change of heart,

Just a fantasy I needed to grow out of-

And learn that reality was hard.

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

And I had to sneak out of bed to see,

Somewhere in my unbelieving heart

Hope told me I’d find love under the Christmas tree.

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