© 2015 Barbara Grace Lake

If ever I’m asked to divulge my belief

On matters some feel is a seasonal grief

(For others an annual sacred obsession)

I offer what follows to be my confession:

While Christmas comes fleetingly once in a year

It wonders in magic performs while it’s here.

To this I’ll audaciously always agree,

Though often I swear ’twill impoverish me.

I send many missives to all those most dear

With jolly old Santa’s abounding good cheer.

While we know one and all this vivànt, this esprit

This aura of warmly convivial glee

Is a wraith that arrives and departs with the Season

Still not to send greetings is kin to high treason.

Indulging a frenzy of mad prodigality

Depleting my funds in the saddest totality,

I’ve managed to spend as I fervently vowed

Would never again be so rashly allowed

Buying cards all too many–’twas only a portion,

For stamp vendors joyfully ransomed a fortune.

But recklessly names I keep adding at random

(Those friends made this year in such happy abandon)

To frightening lists I’ll peruse once again

Lest one might be missed and I rudely offend

A dear one or relative’s fine sensitivity

Within this traditional time of festivity.

Expenses aside, the most harrying part

I’ve delayed several weeks hoping never to start

But resolved to complete the impossible chore

And be finished by morning–or even before

Of signing and stamping, then licking, adhering

Till eyes blur unfocused, dark circles appearing.

So when midnight exhaustion leaves reason behind

It can’t be surprising in shambles I find

My hearing reduced to insensible jumble

Did I really hear my own voice barely mumble

Could I in my torment have honestly said,


“To hell with it all — I’m going to bed!”?