Packing Up Christmas



I pack it all away,

the lights, the ornaments;

the stress, the crèche, the candles—

tuck it all in boxes crammed with

memories—some merry, others

not so very; make room once more for

ordinary days of all that is to come,

waiting now beneath the frozen ground.


The carols, push and stuff them as I may,

refuse the box; insistent grace notes

dangle in the turning year, echo in the

empty crevices of life, hum through days

icicled with worries, pain, or simply green

with far too much–too much of everything

that clings and freezes up our souls.


“God with us,” the carols sing across

our smiles, our salty tears; “God with us”

through all the year until December

reappears to hang our Christmas lights on

hopeful trees to sing yet once again

that promise old but ever new:

God tucked away in a manger,

of all places, to laugh and dance and

weep with us through greens and

yellows of the year, in the bleak

midwinter days, through all the noisy

bluster of our lives; star of wonder

in all our silent nights; our

silent nights holy, our

silent nights not.


8 thoughts on “Packing Up Christmas

  1. Good Morning Friend – very lovely…..always sort of bittersweet to pack ‘it’ all away isn’t it! So much goes into the preparing and enjoying (hopefully) and then it all gets ‘stuffed’ back in!

  2. Wow — those last three lines pack a wallop; the very last word an even bigger wallop. I was not expecting this poem to end this way, given the regular, even methodical tempo of the poem — perfect to describe the packing away of boxes. I was expecting the poem to end at “star of wonder in all our silent night . . . ” How brave of you to name your bluster. Too many Christians think Jesus arrived on a silent night because those of us who follow him find everything calm and bright.


    Thank you for reminding me that Jesus is in the bluster, too.

  3. How precious, Carol. Your poem prompted a quiet musing, a fresh perspective, like a walk around Rockland Lake – when I begin to see more clearly as the fog lifts… and I am running no longer. Or being confused. Or overwhelmed. Could such a place be considered as “shelters of the Most High”?

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