A Christmas Tail

sleepy town

Chapter 1 ~ The Beginning

All’s quite this early winter’s night.
Embers fade in the candles dancing light.
I was thinking of Christmas, many years past.
Those fond old memories’ now fading fast.

I recalled when our home came alive.
I was just a small girl of about five.
It was a grand old house for mom, dad and me.
Sat perched on a hill overlooking the sea.

It’s still a museum in our little town.
It was built by a General of historic renown.
Shared with his bride Martha, she had a sad life.
The General’s a hero, she a young widowed wife.

h varnum door 2

We cared for the house and gave the tours.
All year long we opened our doors.
We welcomed the guest to step back in time.
So come on in and share our rhyme.

I lay awake and tossed and turned.
Thinking of school and all I learned.
Letters and numbers and new friends,
I hope kindergarten never ends.

My thought disturbed by shapes on the wall,
a moonlit dance, shadows big and small.
It pranced to my table that’s set for tea.
There’s a seat for Teddy and Dolly plus one for me.

It climbed the chair with a dancer’s grace.
She must be a girl with a whiskered face.
Dolly left some crumbs on her plate.
When I remembered it was too late.

I Left a treat each night for a week.
I tried staying awake to catch a peek.
I’ll call her Martha, like our homes bride
But when I giggled she ran to hide.

Chapter 2 ~ New Friends

The days passed, she’d visit most nights.
She kept unseen until I turn out the lights.
She knows I’m cozy in my warm bed.
She smiles and winks, thankful she’s fed.

One night I waited, still in my chair.
Starlight warmed the chilly night air.
Eyelids dropped like the falling moon.
I hope my visitor gets here soon.

Night turned to day, feet cold on the floor.
I missed my friend but goodies no more.
The next night I brought a cookie to bed.
I woke with my new friend by my head.

Days got colder, Christmas was near.
I looked forward to the snacks we share.
Each passing night our friendship grows.
We chat and laugh, I scratch her nose.

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Thanksgiving’s past, Santa’s on his way.
The tree goes up, brighter each day.
We’re happy to welcome all our new guests,
while I wore my new colonial dress.

I tell them of the homes long past,
Of all that’s lived here, my family last.
I tell them of their history.
But never a word of Martha and me.

On the last day of school before the break,
we celebrated with carols and cake.
We shared cards and hugs then on our way.
We’re off to the bus and our long holiday.

Glad to be home, much to be done.
Baking and wrapping with mom will be fun.
I think Christmas is the best time of year.
There’s lots of visits from friends far and near.

Chapter 3 ~ Good and Bad

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It’s not just gifts that makes Christmas best.
It’s all the excitement, no time for rest.
One snowy day mom and I went to town.
Main Street’s so merry, never a frown.

When we returned from our last minute shop,
we saw a truck with a light on top.
A man in a hardhat talked with my dad.
They both spoke quietly and looked very sad.

My parents whispered, thought I didn’t hear.
Something’s was broken too much to repair.
Said we’re leaving, where they don’t know.
I loved our home and didn’t want to go.

I gave the last tour on that very sad day.
We finished our cocoa with little to say.
Mom read aloud then kissed me goodnight.
Dad tucked me in, turned out the light.

I lay sobbing at the loss of our house.
No new friends, no Martha the mouse.
I then had a plan and ran for my bank.
Shook out the coins and my little heart sank.

Martha came close, she knew I was sad.
I forgot the snacks but she wasn’t mad.
We counted my pennies in moonlight,
then crept downstairs later that night.

We tucked my bank under the tree.
It’s for our old house from Martha and me.
But one last thing and then back to bed,
a snack for Martha and a pat on her head.

My dad woke me early that Christmas day.
I knew he was sad, he smiled anyway.
We met mom in the hall, headed downstairs.
We all acted happy while holding back tears.

 

Chapter 4 ~ New Beginnings

The cookies were gone, Santa was here.
Beneath the tree, present are there.
But shocked to see something I’d never seen.
There are stacks of coins, sleeping mice in between.

They ate Santa’s cookies then took a nap.
All snuggled together in the Christmas wrap.
Sleeping soundly until mom screams.
Then all were awakened from their dreams.

Martha stood out front and winked at me.
She waved me over to come and see.
The piles of treasure they found last night.
That was lost under the floorboards out of sight.

The Generals treasure, his coins of gold.
There’s enough to fix our homes splendor of old.
Martha saved our house and Christmas too.
She helped write this rhyme to share with you.

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From all of us here at our house of fun,
we’re glad to have shared our time as one,
We wish you the all best this holiday.
And may all your days be just your way.

The End

Steve Kittell 120114

 

My Christmas Eve

The day was frigid with snow piles high;
reindeer would never ever try to fly.
I hoped I wasn’t missed by Santa’s speeding sleigh.
Who can be called to postpone Christmas day?
~
I looked out the window at snow all day.
It was a day too cold to go outside and play.
Stores were closed and phone lines were down.
Street lights were flickering all over town.
~
Dad read some books and we played with blocks.
Mom knitted dad new Christmas knee-socks.
Our oven was warm so I sat close in my chair.
I was waiting for cookies for us all to share.
~
Our Christmas Eve had now just begun.
But supper was first before more fun.
The radio played softly out in the hall.
Eve, our shepherd chewed on her ball.
~
While sipping cocoa, I got foam on my nose.
Dad told a joke about a nose that glows.
Mom stacked some presents, but just a few.
She put Grandma’s aside, I had two.
~
We all went to bed with our flashlights ready.
I got tucked in and snuggled with teddy.
I couldn’t sleep thinking of all the snow.
And how Santa could see where he should go.
~
But when he gets here, he’d need a rest.
A warm comfy chair would be the best.
Maybe more cookies will help him to sleep.
So I slipped out of bed without a peep.
~
I went down to the kitchen on tippy toe.
The night lights flickered from the wind and snow.
The hallway was dark, it seemed longer than before.
The handle looked higher on the old kitchen door.
~
With each step a creak that sounded like “nooo…”
Each step I take I thought I shouldn’t go.
But go I must for old Santa’s sake.
Even Santa must need a break.
~

I’m sure he has other places to go.
How he does it I’ll never know.
But I’m glad to lend him a helping hand.
So he can have a rest that wasn’t planned.
~
Before I knew it the handle was near.
Reaching up I turned it without fear.
I opened the door and to my surprise,
Eve stayed asleep and didn’t rise.
~
I stepped softly past her moonlit bed,
then over to the cupboard just ahead.
I smelled the cookies hiding up there,
too high to reach with just a chair.
~
I felt all around in the dark of night,
looking for the stool with a height just right.
One more step and my stool was found.
I stubbed my toe but made no sound.
~
Eve stayed asleep on her warm cozy bed.
I quietly limped to the goodies ahead.
I climbed up on the stool so I could see,
then reached for the cookies for Santa and me.
~
The night-light went out and I couldn’t go far,
my hand was stuck in that cookie jar.
But with a wiggle and jiggle and lots of stress,
I freed my hand and with not much mess.
~
I put the jar back up high where it goes.
I closed the lid tight so no one knows.
Then I was frozen in that one scary spot,
doing something I should have not.
~
The floor seemed far and I felt small.
Slowly I sat, afraid I would fall.
Then Eve’s wet nose nudged my back,
a welcome touch when all was black.
~
We both snuggled in Eve’s warm, cozy bed,
her big drooling mouth rested on my head.
I woke up wet but toasty warm.
I was happy we survived the storm.
~

On the window sill our old cat lay.
She’s the first to see a bright new day.
She ate the crumbs I left on the floor.
Then back to her sill when there was no more.
~
I gave Eve a hug and thanks for last night;
she kept me safe when there was no light.
My cookies were crumbled all over Eve’s bed.
Though meant for Santa, now Eve’s instead.
~
She gobbled her snack and left no trace.
And when she was done she licked my face.
Then mom rushed in, glad I’m all right.
I told her about my plan for last night.
~
She wasn’t pleased, that I could tell.
She gave me a hug when I thought she’d yell.
Dad soon came in scratching his head.
He asked us why we were all in Eve’s bed.
~
Mom told him the story of my planned surprise.
Dad listed the reasons why my plan wasn’t wise.
I said I was sorry and from now on I’ll be good.
And I’ll sleep with Eve every night as I should.
~
Mom and Dad said later on we’ll talk.
Let’s first stand up and we’ll take a walk.
I followed them quietly with Eve by my side.
We got to the living room and I almost cried.
~
Santa had come and saved Christmas day.
But the presents can wait, Eve wanted to play.
We played together and now I believe;
Christmas is best with my Christmas Eve.

~*~
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A Gift of Sixty-Four

Fancy wrap can’t hide from my eyes,

A gift that’s familiar in shape and size.

It’s the present that I adore.

They’re the toy that’s never a bore.

*

They’re a box of possibilities,

a forest full of Christmas trees.

A blanket of snow and garlands bright,

with a flicker of lights in the night.

*

They’re singing birdies just for me,

or a sailing ship on a stormy sea.

They’re autumn play and a summer breeze,

the colors of spring and buzzing bees.

*

With this one gift I’ll need no-more.

It’s a box of sixty-four!

There are colors for sad and more for glad.

They’re all perfect and none are bad.

*

What endless choices to be found.

But what is the color of sound?

What is the color of a kiss?

I’ll someday find those colors amiss.

*

They’re jewels in a treasure chest.

Something shared with a special guest.

We draw and print or color books,

while snuggled in our secret nooks.

*

I’m glad they float, though labels’ lost.

Nothing left to be peeled and tossed.

Then guides are gone for shades unknown.

But I’ll know them all, when I’m grown.

*

My cat swats greens under my bed.

My dog’s favorite to eat is red.

We all roll fast and giggle for more.

When they’re like bearings on the floor.

*

We build rainbows to the sky.

Stacked like logs to make towers high.

We lose the ones we like the best.

Then have extras of all the rest.

*

They’re a gift that’s always welcome.

They’re used up quick or saved by some.

Look what Harold did with just one.

My sixty-four are much more fun.

*

Stored neat in a box with a lid that flips,

and a hole on the back to sharpen tips.

Enough to share with all my friends,

we can draw a line that never ends.

*

Though mostly used sparingly,

tucked safe in a drawer, just for me.

They somehow seem to go away.

And just in time for Christmas day.

*

The End

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The Gift That Keeps Giving

(rated R)

Ho, Ho, Ho, damn it! That’s all I gotta say

Ho, Ho, Ho, damn it! It’s almost Christmas day

Ho, Ho, Ho, damn it! Yea – Santa’s on his way

Ho, Ho, Ho, damn it! I hope he doesn’t stay

*

Christmas last year was our first as newlyweds

Our little home smoky with burnt gingerbreads

Rooms festively strewn and splattered with glitter

The kind of memories that’ll be around forever

 *

His reindeer chomped topiary, displayed in my backyard

Now I have to lie and say it’s really avant-garde

Rudolph took a shining to a bright-eyed decoration

Now he’s singing high notes from electrical castration

*

I also saw Santa smooch my wife under mistletoe

Not a friendly peck but a kiss, deep and slow

I’m ready for him this year, cameras everywhere

I’ll edit-out tomorrow, things I shouldn’t share

*

My lovely mate now fast asleep, safe in our cozy room

Windows shuttered tight, door wedged with a broom

While plump little Nicki slumbers soundly in her cradle

It’s now time for me to prepare, egg-nog, cups and ladle

 *

Plus a special surprise for Santa, it’s sure to be a hoot

I long to see his rosy cheeks when slapped with a paternity suit

Ho, Ho, Ho, damn it! I’ve one last thing to say

Ho, Ho, Ho to all and have a very merry holiday

 *

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A Holiday’s Warmth

In the land of the dragon when nights get long.
The air is cold and the wind is strong.
In caves they’ll gather all cozy and warm.
But first, they’ll prepare before the big storm.
~
The holiday’s near and another year’s treat.
Moms and dads busy to make all things neat.
The children make dangles to dress up their tree.
Then off to slumber for a week, two or three.
~
Their parents when done with winter chores,
warm their homes and open their doors.
The children then wake to a new winter’s white.
And gaze at trinkets secretly left in the night.
~
There are mittens and hats for the littlest of tikes.
There are goodies galore that everyone likes.
The grown-ups all share a warm hearted kiss.
Then hugs all around that’s never to miss.
~
The teens await the greatest gift of all.
They’ll soon learn to fly or tumble and fall.
But the new snow’s now deep and oh so soft.
It’s perfect for landing when not high aloft.
~
When the sun gets low and the chill sets in.
Homeward they head for the feast begin.
They’ll all sing and dance and sip warm sno-nog.
The night then ends with the last burning log.
~
Eyelids grow heavy, eyes soon to close.
Socks pulled snugly over big chilly toes.
Hibernation then starts and dreams it’ll bring,
where thoughts are warm awaiting the spring.

~*~
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A Holiday Plan

It all starts when the turkey is done.
A month flies by while on the run.
I don’t mean to be a Scrooge or Grinch,
but I can be either in a pinch.
~
I don’t really hate the holidays,
but time could be spent in better ways.
We cut down trees to place on stands.
We’ll slap on balls with eager hands.
~
We cover it in lights to watch it glow.
Then when droopy to the curb it’ll go.
We wrap up gifts to pile high,
then the bill comes in and we all cry.
~
We’ll fill up bags with excess waste,
adding last year’s things we bought in haste.
So maybe next year we can stop and pause.
And maybe give a vacation to old Santa Claus.

~*~
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Figmented

In a little town not far from here,
there lived a star, a puppeteer.
She entertained children near and far.
While her husband played his old guitar.
~
The puppets danced and the kids all giggled.
The guitarist sang and everyone wiggled.
But behind the show’s curtain of green,
the puppeteer performs, always unseen.
~
But she’s not sad, she’s quite content,
the shows always fun and it pays the rent.
Their home life is great with two cats and a dog.
And in a pond nearby they had a pet frog.
~
Their children, now grown and moved far away,
but they all get together for Christmas day.
The tree lit up bright and gifts piled high.
They await the sunrise in the cold winter sky.
~
First up’s the grandkids, it’s time to explore.
Next was the dog that sleeps by the door.
The children were silent peaking at the gifts.
Each on lookout in five minute shifts.
~
Tape’s gently pulled and corners peeled back,
they had to work fast to get through the stack.
The children were careful to not make a mess,
because if caught, next year there’d be less.
~
It didn’t take long for them to realize,
the presents were fake and the pets were spies.
The children panicked and ran back to their beds,
to dream once more of dolls, blocks and sleds.
~
But the parents sat waiting at the top of the stairs.
The kids now caught broke down in tears.
They ruined Christmas and the parents were mad.
The grandparents were disappointed and that was sad.
~
A lecture was given while breakfast they ate.
Grandma’s lesson was that good things are worth the wait.
And that things are not always as they appear,
you can take it from her, she’s a puppeteer.
~
Breakfast was finished at a leisurely pace.
Anticipation beamed from everyone’s face.
Then a puppet appeared dressed as Santa Claus,
who passed out presents to much applause.

~*~
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