To All A Goodnight

Twas the night before the holidays and all through the county

Visions of sugarplums and double chocolate brownies

The winter greens are lit, vanilla candles glow

It’s the holiday season in Fayette, our beloved home

 

Many stockings hang by the chimney with care

In case you might have missed it, a neighbor’s stocking might be bare

Single mom holds it together, dad’s pressures leave him feeling trapped

Overwhelming stress and have-tos rob any chance of a good nap

 

Out on the metaphorical lawn, there can arise such clatter

Because sometimes life happens and rearranges what matters

And just like the old poem says, to the window in a flash

For the best gifts of the holidays are the ones meant to last

What’s the best thing in front of wounded souls to appear?

More precious than a sleigh led by tiny reindeer?

A bowl of compassion, served with nonjudgmental tea

A smile and a hug given unpretentiously

 

A phone call, a text, let them know they’re on your mind

There are no future finance charges on the act of being kind

An extra toy on your list for an unknown child with secret wishes

Cook meals for the hungry, and serve them on real dishes

 

Socks and blankets for the homeless on the street

Pray for someone who is cold when you’re inside adjusting heat

Remembering the grief stricken in their own pace and time

Spending a dollar, but giving charity the dime

 

Considering others, even people you don’t know

Because paying it forward makes the flame of love grow

Remembering first responders and the medical teams that can’t leave

They’re still on duty, holidays give no reprieve

 

The waitress who needs her tips, and so she works through the night

Cleaning up endless syrup, praying it will be alright

The military personnel who are thousands of miles away

And the families who are missing them and counting down the days

 

Someone desperately prays for a child, hoping for one next year

Someone who is having a nightly affair with a suitcase full of beer

Those who rest in hospital beds, their carols are monitor beeps

And those who stay loyal and by their side and refuse to leave or sleep

 

Those who battle troublesome thoughts and those who feel left out

For those who see a broken season and resent everything it is about

There are people who’ll never sense a quiet peace, or don’t believe in good tiding

Those are the people I remind us of through this heartfelt writing

 

Whether we gather by a menorah, or gather ‘round a tree

Some sit too close to a fire of despair, burned by their reality

In life there is no jolly old man with a velvet sack full of toys

We are the ones to bring holiday magic to all ages of girls and boys

 

The gift of being present is better than presents wrapped with flair

And all of us have the daily chance to be someone’s answer to prayer

Knowing that somebody cares can make it easier for someone else to cope

Helping someone feel understood can bring the hopeless hope

 

Being generous to the double shifters who rely on every dollar

Deciding not to put someone on blast, choosing to smile and not holler

Imagine if collective generosity lit up our community by surprise

Our tender touch of humanity would dance like a thousand fireflies

 

It would be the best display of any holiday light

Endless flickers of friendship and favor is no match for the darkest night

With a wink of an eye, and a twist of our head

We could lift spirits, give them nothing to dread

 

Then we could truly rejoice,

before the holiday season is out of sight

That we gave good to all, and so be well,

to all good night

 

December 4, 2019
January 1, 2020

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