The Christmas Letter

ellie in Christmas hat.jpg

Dear friends,

 

We just received your Christmas letter

 

and are delighted to know that everyone

 

     is even better than last year,

 

that your children are all at Harvard or Yale,

 

that you went to Bermuda or Barbados

 

     for vacation

 

that the wives are all in law school,

 

the husbands were promoted

 

and the cat is doing TV commercials.

 

Things here are about the same:

 

chicken pox, high heating bills, and the

 

      lawn furniture is rusting.
 

 

Mom is still trying to potty-train the youngest.

 

Dad gave up running because of shin splints.

 

How come adolescence is such a sullen time?

 

And when did grandma learn to post on YouTube?

 

Life is as usual

 

except it is not.

 

Suddenly there is a blaze of bright

 

that is December sunset against snow,

 

and suddenly I know what I must write,

 

which is also true and, more important,

 

     also right.

 

We are even better than last year,

 

what with Mom taking zumba

 

and Junior’s basketball scholarship

 

and how the baby dances in front of the fire,

 

the heat curling copper ringlets on her neck.

 

We traded that wreck of a car for a new red

 

dazzler

 

and one middle-aged man

 

has met his dream.

 


 

Life is a circle, but not at Christmas

 

 

At Christmas, it is a perfect sphere, unseamed

 

 

 like a silver ball

 

 

reflecting only joy in miraculous shimmer.