Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Poems & A Christmas Video

I'm re-posting several of my original Christmas poems that have appeared at Wild Rose Reader in the past. I also have Christmas Eve Polka, a poem I wrote for my unpublished collection of memoir poems--A Home for the Seasons. Christmas Eve has always been the special holiday time for my family. We make traditional foods like pierogis for our Christmas Eve dinner. We eat no meat. We exchange gifts--and celebrate family.

When I was young, we gathered at the home of my maternal grandparents early on Christmas Eve. My Babci and Dzidzi had six grandchildren--all girls. We had a grand time together--eating, laughing, dancing around when my Uncle Benny played his accordion. I wrote Christmas Eve Polka in memory of my uncle--who always took time to make his four nieces feel like special people--and the happy times I spent at my grandparents' house on Christmas Eve.

I've also included a special Christmas video for you

Christmas Eve Polka

After dinner
Uncle Benny opens his black instrument case
and lifts out his accordion.
He stretches it open, presses it closed.
We listen to it breathe and sigh.
He straps it over his broad shoulders.
Then he taps his right foot
on the shiny yellow linoleum,
sways from side to side
and makes it sing.
We polka out of the kitchen,
across the tiny parlor,
and down the narrow hallway
back into the kitchen.
Round and round
we dance through the house
making circles of laughter,
making circles of love.

Wrapped around itself,
Evergreen, fragrant of winter forests,
Adorned with berries, baubles, bells of gold,
Tacked to the front door...
Home for the holidays.

Trimmed with tinsel, bedecked with shiny bulbs,
Ribboned with red satin, strung with bright lights—
Each twinkling like an earthbound star in an
Evergreen sky.

Santa snaps the reins. Red-nosed Rudolph

Leads the team of reindeer this early winter

Eve. Up, up

Into the sky with a cargo of Christmas

Gifts and goodies they rise, weaving through clouds. Can you

Hear the merry jingle of their silver bells?

Candy Cane

Wrapped in a cellophane of sound:
a striped stick of sweetness,
red as Rudolph’s nose,
white as Santa’s beard.
Crinkle open your peppermint present.
Let your tongue celebrate
the wintry taste of Christmas.

Things to Do If You If You Are a Bell

Ride on a reindeer’s harness.
Tinkle in the icy air.
Jingle across milk-white snow.
Sing with a silver tongue.


We watch Babci make the Christmas babka.
With plump peasant hands
she kneads sweet dough

on the white porcelain-topped table,
places it in a large sky-blue bowl,
covers it with a damp towel,
and sets it on the kitchen counter
near the hissing radiator.
Swelling with bubbles of air,
the dough rises into a pale yellow cloud
flecked with bits of orange rind.
The baking babka fills the house
with the scent of Christmas.
We eat the bread fresh from the oven,
its insides steaming and golden—a homemade treasure
rich enough to warm a winter night.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a video of Judy Garland singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a special Elf Yourself greeting.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Book Aunt.


Mary Lee said...


Thank you for letting us share your Christmas Eve family memories again this year. Your poem puts me right there in the kitchen with you and your sisters! What fun to gallop around the house polka-ing to Uncle Benny's accordion!!

Author Amok said...

I love "Things to do if you are a bell." Great poem and great concept. Have a happy holiday!

jama said...

I love Uncle Benny's accordian and picturing you dancing the polka with your cousins. Of course, I also love pierogis and wish I was there to sample the Christmas babka. What a festive, savory post! Hope you had a beautiful Christmas :)!

laurasalas said...

What wonderful poems, Elaine! I love the picture your polka poem paints in my mind. And your acrostics--love them! Great alliteration in so many of them, too. Tree is my favorite one--evergreen sky. Delicious!

Hope you had a fabulous Christmas!

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