Christmas. Just one week away.

How much a non-day event this becomes the older I get. Not a NON-day actually. Every 24-hour cycle is, technically, a day.

What I should have said is what an ANY day Christmas has turned into over the years. “Special” only because our society and our culture and our religious norms and the calendar itself say it’s so. The requisite time spent with family during the holidays – images of jolly laughter, yuletide carols, warmth and comradery – feels forced, somehow. Contrived. In reality, this time of year is often more stressful and chaotic than it is calming and cleansing. Expectations are high, emboldened by the trappings of social media, for a glitzy, candle-shrouded, Hallmark Cards experience to rival anything Hollywood could muster up on the big screen. We’re bombarded with photographs and images, tweets and postings positively dripping with hygge-inspired loveliness that render our drab, ordinary lives pathetic by comparison.

Here’s an idea. What say we treat every day as special, each day a Christmas? Loving one another, treasuring the earth, showing kindness, embracing gratitude every 24-hour cycle. And for good measure – and for sanity’s sake for ALL of us – let’s shrug off what we think and believe others are doing and how others are living their lives and just focus on what makes US happy for a change?

Now that would be cause for celebration.

My poem, In My Father’s Office, as recently published in the Iowa Poetry Association’s 2018 Lyrical Iowa ~

In my father’s office

sunlight bursts through an eastern window
veined in cobwebs caked in sawdust.

Last year’s Miss December
dangles from the pegboard,
her curled corners cradling dead flies.
A cant hook, its handle splintered,
rests against a tired door frame.
Two large saw blades
await sharpening,
teeth blunted
from repeated contact
with prized walnut logs.

An unorthodox home
for a monstrous red geranium,
four feet tall and just as wide,
thriving on my father’s near neglect.

Mom’s green thumb
was never able to match
daddy’s indifference.

Copies of Lyrical Iowa 2018 can be ordered via the IPA website: https://iowapoetry.com/