Thursday, December 15, 2011

34 Years of Christmas Poems: Christmas 1985

This is one of my absolute favorites. It still reads beautifully today and it has a meaningful story behind it.

My best friend in high school and beyond (I still consider him a dear friend today even though we virtually never get to see each other due to life and all that), wrote a magnificent, touching short story in the early '70s called "A Moment of Christmas." I am upset at this moment because I cannot find my ancient copy; I wanted to reread it before writing this entry.

His story touched my heart and I held onto it long afterwards. During Christmas of 1985, I happened upon it while going through some files and it immediately sprang into a new form, that year's poem. When I tell you that it virtually wrote itself, that is the truth. I had no angst or strife this holiday season in channeling something that to me, captures the essence of what Christmas is about. What a gift!

Christmas 1985
Richard Perrotti

The whirl of Christmas, the world of Christmas,
There’s both magic and madness in the air.
It’s a crazy quilt, kaleidoscope fantasy
That can lead some folks to despair.

“Everyone should be happy at Christmas!”
I hear what you’re saying, and it’s true.
But lots of people come down with a seasonal ill,
Assorted strains of the “holiday blues.”

All the realists, they get mad at Christmas.
They find the hypocrisy a bore,
‘cause it’s one day of “Peace and good will to all men,”
and “Screw your neighbor” the other three hundred sixty-four.

Lonely people, they’re sadder at Christmas.
Their lives ring hollow, as emptiness does.
For as all rush together in a mistletoe tide,
It reminds of what was once… or else, never was.

Yes, many don’t look forward to Christmas.
“Bah, humbug-ers” they are, you might say.
But as sure as there’s sidewalk Santa Clauses,
We can help these poor souls find the way.

Everyone knows there’s no Santa at Christmas,
He’s but a legend, a myth kept alive.
Just the children believe, in their innocence and faith,
In that moment, the twinkling of an eye.

You grown-ups should think about Christmas,
How your faith and your love play a part.
And as you recover your child-like amazement,
Go out then and touch someone’s heart.

Just call it a moment of Christmas,
As you help someone out “just because.”
Let that feeling live on for the rest of the year,
…then tell me there’s no Santa Claus!

-Based on Ed Faver’s short story, “A Moment of Christmas.”

Roll call for December 1985:

1st - Noraly Beyer becomes Neth's 1st black TV newscaster
1st - STS 61-C vehicle moves to launch pad
1st - South Africa's Cosatu union centre forms
2nd - "Mystery of Edwin Drood" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 608 perfs
2nd - Philipine Chief staff Gen Fabian speaks of B Aquino's murder
2nd - Rupert Holmes' musical "Mystery of Edwin Drood," premieres in NYC
3rd - 23rd Shuttle Mission (61-B)-Atlantis 2-lands at Edwards AFB
4th - "Les Miserables" opens at Palace Theatre, London
4th - French President Mitterrand receives Polish leader Jaruzelski
4th - Pres Reagan appoints Vice Adm John Poindexter as security adviser
5th - Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 1,500 level for 1st time
5th - Great Britain performs nuclear test
5th - Sam Shepard's "Lie of the Mind," premieres in NYC
7th - 51st Heisman Trophy Award: Bo Jackson, Auburn (RB)
7th - Atlantis returns to Kennedy Space Center via Kelly AFB
8th - 60th Australian Womens Tennis: M Navratilova beats C Evert (62 46 62)
8th - Ken O'Brien's 96 yard TD pass (NY Jet record) to Wesley Walker
8th - Laurie Rinker/Larry Rinker wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
9th - 74th Australian Mens Tennis: S Edberg beats Mats Wilander (64 63 63)
9th - Jerry Rice begins NFL streak of 100+ consecutive game receptions
9th - Phoenix Arizona, gets 3" of snow
10th - Bill to balance the federal budget passed by Congress
10th - Junta leaders Videla & Massera sentenced in Buenos Aires
11th - Computer store owner in Sacramento Calif killed by package bomb
11th - Dow Jones closes above 1,500 for 1st time (1,511.70)
11th - General Electric acquires RCA Corp & its subsidiary, NBC
11th - NHL Record 62 points scored, Edmonton (36) beats Chicago (26) 12-9 & ties record of 21 goals
12th - 248 US soldiers & 8 crew members die in Arrow Air charter crash
12th - DC-8 crashes near Gander, Newfoundland; 258 die
12th - NASA launches space vehicle S-207
13th - David Boon's 1st Test century, 123 v India at Adelaide
13th - Test debut of Merv Hughes, Geoff Marsh & Bruce Reid (v India)
14th - US Foreign Minister George Shultz arrives in West Berlin
15th - Sylvester Stallone & Brigitte Nielson wed
16th - Challenger moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating of STS 51-L mission
18th - "Jerry's Girls" opens at St James Theater NYC for 139 performances
18th - UN Security Council unanimously condemns "acts of hostage-taking"
19th - "Wind in the Willows" opens at Nederlander Theater NYC for 4 perfs
19th - Mary Lund is 1st woman to receive a Jarvik VII artificial heart
19th - STS 61-C scrubbed at T -13s because of SRB auxiliary power problem
20th - Denis Potvin passes Bobby Orr as NHL defenseman scorer (916 points)
20th - Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC
20th - Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is 1st)
21st - ARCO Anchorage runs aground near Port Angeles, WA
21st - Alice Miller/Don January wins LPGA Mazda Golf Championship
21st - Heart's "Heart," album goes #1
22nd - "Wind in the Willows" closes at Nederlander Theater NYC after 4 perfs
22nd - 74th Davis Cup: Sweden beats Germany in Munich (3-2)
22nd - STS 51-L vehicle moves to Launch Pad 39B
26th - Test Cricket debut of Steve Waugh, v India at the MCG
27th - Terrorists kill 20 & wound 110 attacking El Al at Rome & Vienna airports, President Reagan blames Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
28th - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
28th - Warring Lebanese Moslem & Christian leaders sign peace agreement
30th - IBM-PC DOS Version 3.2 released
30th - Pakistan restores constitution

1 comment:

  1. "whirl of Christmas ... magic and madness" images like snowflakes swirling on a snowdrift. Thank you for sharing your poetry. What a gift for me this Christmas! Rw