doors waiting to be opened —
Await me this year.
I had a little snowman;
His smile was big and wide.
He was a happy snowman,
When I was by his side.
But since it was quite freezing,
I could not stay and play,
And when I had to go in,
He followed me one day.
I hurried to the fireplace
To warm my hands and toes,
And suddenly I found myself
Adrift in melted snow.
My happy little snowman
Had come inside to play,
Not knowing that the warm fire
Would melt him quite away.
But not to worry, dear friends;
I’ve dipped him up you see,
And poured the water outside
Where it will now refreeze.
Then I’ll scoop him back up
Add some fresh snow too,
And mold him back together
So he’ll be good as new.
IF YOUR TINSEL’S IN A TANGLE
Is your tinsel in a tangle?
Is your wreath hung at an angle?
Are you starting to feel stressed and quite undone?
Is your credit card maxed out?
Are the kids bored, in a pout?
Have you given up the hope of having fun?
Well, forget the tangled messes
And the aggravated voices,
And forget about more shopping that’s not done.
Stop the hassle and the frazzle;
Look away from what bedazzles
To the reason for the season. There’s just one.
Jesus Christ – He is the reason.
His birth brought about the season,
For the Father gave His one and only Son.
If you’ll focus on His coming,
You will hear your heart start humming,
And will find your merry Christmas has begun.
Excerpted from my book of Christmas and winter poems: KEEPING CHRISTMAS.
WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT AIN’T
If ‘figgy pudding’ isn’t made of figs,
And jingle bells don’t jingle, only clang,
And Christmas candles have to burn by batt’ries,
And mistletoe is poison that we hang,
If Santa’s just a fat guy we’ve invented,
Based on the life of some medieval saint,
It seems to me the Christmas some folks cherish
Is mostly made of stuff that really ain’t.
So what’s the deal; what are we celebrating?
Is there a reason all the world should hear?
A true event or one we can depend on?
A person worthy of such joy and cheer?
Ah, yes, the man called Jesus: He’s the one
Who came in lowly birth the world to save.
He gave Himself for all in grievous death,
But then ascended right up from the grave.
He offers every man a brand new birth,
And with His blood redemption for us seals.
He’s pure and kind and true and rich in love.
Celebrating Him makes Christmas real.
Find this poem and more in my newest book: KEEPING CHRISTMAS. Available at special Christmas price of $3.75. order from Amazon now.
Leading up to our Thanksgiving Day celebration in the U.S., I’m doing a few posts that revisit some of my poems that focus on that holiday. I hope you enjoy them, whether you’re reading them again or for the first time.
Ah, Thanksgiving, how I love you!
Golden crowning jewel of Fall,
Beacon of warmth and cam’raderie,
Sending glad invitation to all:
“Gather to worship; gather to visit;
Gather to focus on all that’s worthwhile;
Feast from tables resplendent with harvest;
Feast on the love in a touch and a smile.”
All the year’s labors weigh heavy upon us.
All the world’s problems seem bigger by far.
But out from that wearisome struggle you call us,
And laying it down, we run to where you are.
And whether in cottages, mansions, or churches,
Community buildings, or tables in parks,
We gather with gratitude full – overflowing;
To the Giver of blessings lift voices and hearts.
Then we return to life’s pattern awaiting.
Filled up with joy, we set off on our way,
Warmer and richer and kinder in spirit
For pausing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
Here it is: The perfect little Thanksgiving gift for those you want to bless during this time of gratitude for God’s abundant blessings in our lives. This small soft-cover book is a seasonal collection of scriptures, pictures, and Thanksgiving poems and essays by my father Ted Pavloff and me. The cover features the photography of my sister Brenda Calvert, so it’s really a family collaboration.
Only 25 pages long, measuring 5 1/5 x 8 1/2, it is just the right size to pick up and enjoy for a few moments of seasonal pleasure in the weeks anticipating Thanksgiving Day or in the hours after dinner, when you’re letting your turkey and dressing settle.
$4.00 on Amazon. You can find your copy at this link.
Is on my mind.
A smooth yet robust roast:
Tantalizing aroma and
Now brew a pot —
Enough to share with friends.
A treat this special deserves to
It is candy I’m craving today.
Just can’t get enough; there’s no way.
I have bought by the bag,
And my conscience it nags,
That I’m eating too much every day.
I have friends who are nutritionists,
And to eat healthily they insist,
I feel guilty as sin,
When I spend time with them,
So their company I’ve had to miss.
Every time I must go to the store
I check my sweet stash to make sure
That I have quite enough
Of the stress-easing stuff,
And if not, I make sure to buy more.
Yes, I know that I eat to de-stress;
It’s a weakness in me, I confess.
But these sugary treats
Keep me smiling and sweet.
Health food never has that much success.
It’s not too hard.
It takes some discipline
But much less energy than when
Today the old chief passed,
Enwreathed by potent memories
Of battles fierce, of freedoms lost,
Of smoking pipe with enemies
Who swore to keep the peace treaties
But quickly spurned such promises
When greed for lands gained upper hand.
Today the old chief passed
And hastened to his ancestors,
To mountains, valleys, fertile plains,
Sparkling rivers, fields of grain,
Miles and miles of vast domain
Where Cherokee live free again,
Never again to be betrayed.
The old chief passed today.
On edge of cliff,
Stands serene and secure,
Consistently abating dark
My mind’s aloft,
Swept by the winds of doubt.
Could lose my way unless I face
Could lose my way unless I face
(I’ve taken a little liberty with the cinquain form in the poem above, but I think it does a perfect job for the purpose of the message.)
Today would be my mom and dad’s 75th wedding anniversary — if they were still on this earth. They were very much in love their whole lives, and my sister and I benefited from their love because it made them terrific parents. I’m dedicating this little cinquain to them.
It takes a lot
Of effort and good will,
And love that puts another first.
People I know
In two becoming one with great
I like stripes.
They give variety, but keep stability.