The Warmth of a Country Christmas


Tucked into all corners of the large stately farm house
Loquacious aunts, uncles of letters, adventure and public house,
Grandmother wrapped in wool, grandfather’s pipe
Gas fired ceramic tiled fireplaces, a Christmas delight
Glowing red ember warming through the night
Hot cocoa frothed from creamy warm cow’s milk sweetened by cane
we the lucky few possessing sofas in grand parlor for all night chatter
teasing, cajoling, laughter, latest 45 on the record player
The day’s monopoly game sitting in anticipation of tomorrow’s opening round
An aunt peeks in, gracing the room, one of many favorites
Aunts always love us more somehow, we are all loved the same
Lucky am I to have drawn the grand chenille camel back sofa
under the large window draped in heavy brocaded velvet and luxurious fringe
I pull back the cloth and rub an operatic glass lens into the icy mist
on a quarter pane of glass with the sleeve of my corduroy bathrobe and gaze out
Perfectly framed for Currier and Ives
A winter wonderland of large lofty flakes of white snow falling
a whimsical night of crystal laced serenity
Soft glowing red and blue electric bulbs trimming the grand porch
looking out across rolling hills dotted with fence and tree cover
a rabbits paradise and playground of snowmen and angels
Frozen creeks, the last bubbling spring gurgling in sun-starved desperation
I think of morrow’s rabbit hunt, strapping on long johns, wool pants lined to the knees,
knee high wool socks, mink oiled leather boots laced up tight
The smell of well-oiled shotguns, the glimpse of whiskey flasks,
Grandfather’s large stainless steel thermos of piping hot coffee,
A grand breakfast fit for country squires
Fried eggs, bacon, sausage, squirrel, ham, thick gravy, red-eyed gravy,
Muscadine jelly, blackstrap molasses, a pound of butter on a thick glass plate
passed back and forth between pans of buttermilk biscuits, tall glasses of milk
cling peaches and oatmeal
A playful pillow thrown brings me back to the room of cousins
A plate of cookies arrives along with another aunt, with the finger of quiet
pressed to her lips, we smile…aunts are more fun than mothers
I tuck the soft cotton sheet and wool blanket tight under my chin
My head sinking into the hand-filled goose down pillow,
The warm ember glow of the fireplace slowly fades as sleep pleasantly overcomes
The warmth of a country Christmas

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If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

— Napoleon