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I understand that I’m not on your list, or anyone’s.
Take me anyway.
I realize I don’t fit right, run both too large and too small,
break easily and bolt through batteries like heartbeats.
Make me yours, despite it all.
Take me without bright paper or bows,
without tinsel or tags to distract from what is surely
not as dear as myrrh and nowhere near gold.
I’ve soiled the cloth you wove me of, that infantile innocence
that shone from my newly opened eyes.
Spin me anew.
May this white Christmas describe the state of my soul.
May I be the present under the tree.
May I be what is wanted:
fresh hay, animal heat, the company of shepherds,
pure and clean as a newborn star
nodding “yes” above a manger.

He will come again perhaps in snow
or baked earth like the first time,
no one knows.
And if today,
what would he make
of sleighs and bells,
garlands, garish green
and red everywhere?
Perhaps he would shake his head
and chuckle at the foibles of his siblings.
Or point out, with rather more force,
“That’s a lot of hoopla
for a baby born in a manger.”
I myself would turn it all away,
all the tinsel and trimmings,
for a single moment of pure love.
That is what he came for,
and that is what he died for.
And so I say:
To beings everywhere —
You are greatly loved.
Believe it.
(That sharp uptick in your heart —
that right there is Christmas.)

 

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Have a Mary Little Christmas

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