God, today I remember a lifetime
of Christmas presents.
Some of them were made by little hands
with construction paper and glue,
and others were made by wrinkled hands
with the veins standing out blue —
especially delicious fruitcake.
Some were books
that filled hours with pleasure,
and others were books
I’d already read from the library,
which meant the giver knew me well.
Some cost more than the giver’s budget,
and I squirmed and tried to enjoy
the nard-li-ness of it.
Others felt like obligations
or that the person didn’t think about me,
and the real gift was teaching me
Some made me very happy
by promising things we’ll do together,
and others evoked memories
of the places that we have been.
Some fit in the felt stocking
Great-aunt Helen made when I was born
embroidering a church on one side
and Santa on the other,
and others were wide as angel wings,
unexpected as manger,
delicious – did I mention fruitcake?
happily used – did I mention airline miles?
needed – why do I lose one earring?
or sweet and full of tears.