It was days before Christmas and if you came to my house,
you would see nothing festive–according to my spouse.
The tree, the lights, and each tchotchke he remembered,
was trapped in the attic with a bad memory from September.
At a Christmas craft gathering with girlfriends and wine,
I’d created a garland that was far from divine.
Though I tied and wired hopes and ornaments to it,
when that didn’t work, I just hot glued it.
What was I thinking when I went to that party?
Not ONE part of me was crafty or arty.
When my friends proudly held up their projects to show,
I looked down at my garland thinking “This can’t be so.”
Two hours I’d been there. Two burns and a cut.
A piece to be proud of? I had anything but.
That ugly garland was a bad start to the season
that did not get better for a number of reasons.
Every light, every song just made it worse.
I was starting to think this funk was a curse.
Saddened over loved ones whose faces we’d be missing,
and for those around me who were fighting, not kissing.
Comparing my sorrow to Christmases I recalled,
there was simply no reason to be joyful at all.
So, I went for a walk and when I returned,
in the middle of the floor lay that garland I’d spurned!
“Every ornament you love, you’ve put on this thing,”
said my husband in a voice to make angels sing.
“It seems like a waste not to hang it somewhere.”
Then he picked up one end and pointed,
He carefully unfolded each bough with a twist.
But all that I noticed were the places I’d missed.
There were gaps between snowmen you could fill with a house.
And Mickey and Minnie’s sleigh contained only one mouse.
As he moved toward the mantle, I stood there dumbfounded.
The closer he got, the louder my heart pounded.
He pointed to the box with more garland inside.
“Pick up that end, it’s right there behind you.”
“Just pick it up, from there I will guide you.”
I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. He didn’t understand.
He was doing so well, why should I lend a hand?
“Explain what you want,” I said, fearing mistakes.
“This garland will only get uglier when it breaks.”
And with the sigh of a man who’d had all he could take,
“PICK IT UP!”
came out of his mouth like a quake.
I laughed so hard I could barely stand.
I loved every second of that reprimand.
Once the garland was up, he straightened and tweaked it.
He gathered broken ornaments and became Mr. Fix It.
The greenery, the memories, and the twinkling of lights,
was a beautiful tribute to past Christmas nights.
When I added some candles and cards we’d received, the mantle looked festive and my husband, relieved.
There was Christmas. I was standing right in it.
How did something this beautiful happen last-minute?
And when the night ended and I turned out the lights,
I saw Christmas WAS merry when I looked at it right.