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Dec 2018
You've heard this tale
A thousand times,
Take one more spin,
This version's mine.
And this telling tale
Is its first time.
My theme is fitting,
The message sublime,
For the Season of giving,
And gifting one's time.

For my first Christmas
I was three,
But the warmth on that night
Never cooled,
And indeed,
It was
A cold Christmas Eve.

We stuck branches of pine
In a bucket of sand,
That's the snapshot I've got
Of our Christrmas tree then.
Here's the memory that Eve
Of a lad of three,
Yet this story is true,
It's a family heirloom.

We weren't many then,
There was Mammy and Daddy
And six children, soon seven.
Daddy was an Operator
Of cranes and loaders
Dirt packers and graders.
He was working North,
Far North,
Manning a dozer,
Distant from family
Near the Quebec border.
That's where he was
Days before,
When his pant-leg caught fire,
When the diesel was spilled.

We were only three months
In our chosen homeland,
It was 1958,
And fresh from Ireland.

No way to get to him,
Nor him to get home,
No car,  no friends yet,
Little money, no phone.
Yet somebody knew
We were out on our own.

And the snow started falling,
It was Christmas Eve,
I stood at the window,
Saw the snow fill the trees.
I was still and staring,
At what I don't know,
But I remember quite vividly
All that I saw.

Like a scene from a movie
Starring Barry or Bing,
A fire-engine red no-top
Stopped and parked with high beams,
Highlighting the snow,
On that Christmas Eve.

A big man in a red suit
Slid off of the trunk,
Literally carrying a sack,
And calling, **! **!
The family joined me
At the window to see
The big man's helpers
Carry a big Christmas Tree.

When they entered the house
Kevin, Sean, Gerald and I,
Cowered and crouched
Behind the second-hand couch.
We must have resembled
Three monkeys plus me;
I hadn't a clue,
I was dumb-founded and three.

In through the front door
They clattered and sang,
Unloading their boxes
Of food, clothes and toys,
*****, bats and dolls
For two girls and four boys;
And I'm sure there was something
For the coming bundle of joy.

I don't remember their departure,
Or where he went,
But they called Merry Christmas
And left all else unsaid.

Mammy understood
Some good persons had called,
Who'd heard of our plight
And couldn't be calmed
Til they knew for certain
We'd some peace in our storm.

So, that's my first Christmas,
Since then this my creed:
The gift of giving
Isn't under the Tree.
Repost and a Merry Christmas to all my friends at HP.
Francie Lynch
Written by
Francie Lynch
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         sue, Francie Lynch, Gabriel burnS, Traveler, Crow and 2 others
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