About five years ago one of my coworkers came over to me and asked, “Cate, I know you write. Do you ever write poetry?”
I should have known it was a trap but I replied, “Yea, a little.”
My coworker smiled and then asked it I could write a poem and read it at the Winter Employee Appreciation Event (i.e. Christmas/Holiday party) that was in two weeks. The new addition to the party this year was an employee talent showcase. Never one to back down from a challenge, I said no problem. A couple of things you should know about me.
- I was 35 at the time and hadn’t written a poem since high school.
- I usually spend the Winter Employee Appreciation Event in the corner with a glass of wine.
What I did have going for me was I LOVE Christmas. My tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, I can recite the Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer movie word for word and I have been known to wear a reindeer antler headband to work. How hard could this be?
The answer was extremely hard. Not only was poetry not my usual genre, I had no idea what to say. I’m not a very religious person in the traditional sense. My biggest goal every Christmas is to find the ornament my sister made in 1st grade with the picture of her that she hates and put in the middle of the tree before she can locate the ornament I made in 1st grade with the picture of me that I hate and she puts it in the middle of the tree. So after staring at a blank page for 20 minutes, I found what I wanted to say. The poem was a hit at the party and I printed framed copies for my family as gifts.
Here’s the poem. This year, what are you going to give that’s a part of you?
Holiday ads are playing before the candy wrappers are in the trash
May as well call October through December Hallowthanksgiveamass
The Santa and Reindeer are already out of storage
And now going to the mall takes courage
The halls are decked and the music is playing much to my dismay
I thought we all agreed to wait to Black Friday
But no matter how early the carols or commercials start
There is something you can give this year that comes from the heart
Don’t worry about how much money you spend or how many presents you buy
It’s not worth it when the credit cards bills make you sigh
Instead this year think about what you’ll remember in Christmases future
Will it be spending time with some special or that new computer?
I know for me, having tinsel fights with my sister is more important than how many presents are under the tree
So this year give the gift of love, best of all it’s free.
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