This Poem Is About the Gift of Family - Poetry For the Holiday Season

Ruth K. Darling, surrounded by her great-grandchildren at the family Hanukkah party in 2006.
Ruth K. Darling, surrounded by her great-grandchildren at the family Hanukkah party in 2006. | Source

About This Poem

From the time that we are born, to the time that we die, the one constant in our lives is our family, but with our busy life styles, and overbooked schedules, it is throughout the year, the relationship with our family and our closest and dearest friends that we take for granted and often neglect, and in some cases, it is only during events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and of course throughout the holiday season, that we are all actually gathered together in one place. This poem is a reminder of the importance of our family in our lives, and suggests that we should remember to be thankful for, and more attentive to, our extended family, not only during the holidays, but throughout the rest of the year as well.

Family is a Precious Gift

We've strung the lights, and lit the candles

Played dreidel for gelt, and trimmed the tree,

Placed Mary’s baby in the manager,

Retold the story of those amazing Maccabees.

We've written a wish list for Hanukkah,

Sent a letter to jolly old Saint Nicholas too,

Signed holiday cards with love and best wishes,

Sung songs about Christmas', both white and blue.

We've feasted on latkes, on turkey, on stuffing,

Had our fill of anything gooey and sweet,

We've tried, and tasted and sampled and eaten

Everything that we could possibly eat!

All of our gifts have been opened

We've cleared the table and washed all of the plates,

Candles are burning low in the menorah,

The hour is growing quite late.

This holiday season will soon be over

Time has gone by so very fast.

It's difficult to believe, just how can it be,

That another year has almost passed?

Last year's babies have grown into toddlers

Papa's hair has turned just a bit more gray

A loved one went off to war, and then came home again,

While someone that we love, has forever gone away.

The hustle and bustle of the last six weeks

Is being replaced by a calm sort of hush

I have something I wish to say to everyone

Before our good-byes have us departing again in a rush.

This has been another year of challenges met

It has been another year for adapting to change

Each of us has tasted the sweetness of laughter, the bitterness of tears

Felt the ecstasy of pleasure, and the agony of pain.

A year in which time in the company of family and friends

Was so often taken for granted, postponed or overlooked

Days that seemed just not quite long enough

For lives so often, over scheduled and overbooked.

Sometimes we’ve been divided by differences,

Or the latest of soon-to-be-forgotten-family-feuds

Sparked perhaps by the trivial or the silly,

Or the refusal to see one another’s point of view.

It might be that something said without thought

Has been taken for more than it’s worth,

Or words that were said in the heat of anger,

Resulted in feelings unintentionally hurt.

Our family is not unlike so many others,

With its fair share of days that we wish to forget,

Words we now wish had never been uttered,

Moments which we have come to regret.

But here tonight, peace and goodwill surround you,

Look around you right now, and what is that you see?

To your left, perhaps is the heart you were born from,

On your right, perhaps the legacy you will leave.

All gathered in our home on this evening,

Enveloped in the warmth of a soft golden glow,

Eternal and steadfast is this beacon of light

Guiding each generation toward home,

Where no matter what disagreement divides us,

No matter who or what has been misunderstood

The arms and the hearts of these people are around you,

When there is trouble, beside you is where your family has stood.

There are so many unfortunate people in the world,

Who have nothing and no one to call their own

This is a type of poverty that none of us here, will ever know,

Because this bond of strength that we call family,

Means that no matter where we are, we are never alone.

So, tonight as the embers of the fire are dying

And the holiday season is fading away,

Let us each take a moment to recount our blessings

Remembering to give thanks and be grateful each day,

For the circle of life that goes on never-ending,

Is the anchor that keeps us from going adrift

Not only during the holidays, but on each day throughout the year,

It is our family that is the most blessed and precious of gifts.

For children all over the world, the holiday season would not be complete without being able to climb up onto Santa's lap during a traditional visit to whisper their Christmas wishes in his ear
For children all over the world, the holiday season would not be complete without being able to climb up onto Santa's lap during a traditional visit to whisper their Christmas wishes in his ear | Source

© 2011 Kristen Burns-Darling

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Comments 27 comments

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..you know I really have always loved your profile picture of you and your dad - and with all due respects it's a very life affirming photo - I have no family anywhere in this world so yes I am sad at times - so I felt your sadness just now in your comment to me - and as you know both my mum and dad were my best friends (I was lucky and blessed) ....so yes this piece of essential writing by you makes me somewhat sad but life is/was a miracle and I've had memories and the very best of what love has to offer - and I have good people like you in my life here at the Hub and on Facebook - and that is exactly where this hub classic for all seasons will go with a direct link back here - giving you a hug for your sadness to hopefully make it go away

lake erie time ontario canada 1:32am


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

I always enjoy reading your stories and poems that are often filled with memories of family. Your cherished memories never fail to shine through any difficulty or true sadness you have also experienced. Your family is very blessed to have you as the glue that holds it all together and teaches love, forgiveness and the importance of recognizing what we all have to be thankful for ... I, for one, am thankful for you!


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@epigramman - Thank you Colin! Your words and your hugs, and a few hours of sleep, have chased away some of the dark clouds....And I am lucky to people like you in my life as well!

Kristen


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@poohgranma - And I am thankful as well for you....For the generosity of your spirit and your time, for your friendship and for your support.....

Kristen


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

Hi K.BurnsDarling,

Such a beautiful poem dedicated to family. Sure, some things are treasured way beyond and we have gotta learn to stop and make them appreciated.

Voted up as beautiful


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@Ruchira - We are sometimes so blinded by our busy lives, that we just sort of forget to be thankful for the things of real value in our lives... Thank you so much for the generosity of your time, and for your comments, they are both welcomed and appreciated..

Kristen


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

@Epi My Friend...I read your above comment and who says that family is only blood relations? We can make a family/friends by our perspectives on life and you my dear friend have scored your BEST in the hubtown :) Cheers!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

K. Burns Darling. My egghead reading nerd loves that you guys are the Darling's. This is a charming piece of work that describes so much that we share in our busy lives. Thanks for sharing.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

This is such a beautiful poem about family, thank you.


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@mckbirdbks - You can let your egghead know that it only gets that much worse...in our Darling Family, my husband is both Michael and Jon, my now former sister-in-law is Wendy, and my mother-in-law in Nana. LOL Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and for your comments, that you know are always welcome and deeply appreciated! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Kristen


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@Movie Master - Thank you, for the gift of your time,and for your comments, that are always welcomed and deeply appreciated! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Kristen


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

DEC. 25, 2011

Hi, K. Burns Darling...Amazing hub! Wonderful gift to read on Christmas. Moved me so much. I voted up and all across. I am amazed and in awe of your talent. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012. In closing, I believe that you are following me, but I never knew how to do the follow for others until a few months back....so NOW I am following YOU. Would you check your followers list and see IF you are following me? If not, Please do. And IF YOU DO...LOve you for that! Im sorry that I haven't been around more. My Accelerated Fibromyalgia and Neurohopy really kicks me in the spine with this damp, cold weather. Please forgive me. For not visiting with you more often. With fond appreciation, your friend, KENNETH


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 4 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@kenneth avery - Thank you so much for the gift of your time and for your very gracious comments, they are as always, very welcomed and appreciated. I will check to see if I am following you, and thank you again for following me. I hope that you and yours had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you a blessed and happy New Year!

Kristen


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

12/26

Hi, Kristen! No sweat. You are a fantastic writer. Loved every word. And I meant every word of my comments. And yes, Id love to see if you are following me. If not, I humbly ask that you be on my Follower's List. I would love that. And to you and yours, Kristen..."Happy 2012 and hope that All things Good come to you!" "You are a Genuine friend. Very classy. Very talented." Let me know if you are following me. Thanks!


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 4 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@kenneth avery - I checked, and yes, I am on your followers list. Will have to put you at the top of my priority read list when I return after the holiday. Thanks Again,

Kristem


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Kristen...."THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" I am so HONORED to have YOU on my Followers List, I cannot express my gratitude in mortal words. I hope your holiday is fun, safe, fun-filled and enriched with wonderful memories. No, thank you, for being a GENUINE friend and follower. Peace, Kenneth


SummitTechnology 4 years ago

Such a beautiful poem. I really appreciate your post. Family is the greatest gift. I would like to dedicate this nice poem to my family.

http://www.summittechnology.com.au


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 4 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@SummitTechnology - Thank you for the generosity of your time and your comments here, they are both welcomed and appreciated.

Kristen


Raitu Disong profile image

Raitu Disong 3 years ago

Family- the best gift!

Beautiful poem, beautiful picture!


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California Author

@Raitu Disong- Yes, Family is the best and most precious of gifts. Thank you for the gift of your time and for your comments, both of which are welcomed and deeply appreciated.

Kristen


bigj1969 profile image

bigj1969 2 years ago from glasgow

Lovely words ,you are truly gifted.can't wait to read more.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

No success in life can compensate for failure in the home. Parents are responsible to God for what their children needed to be taught. Not all families are happy families and some don't even deserve that title. You have made the case for families that do deserve to be called by the title "family," and the world needs many, many more of those. Shalom.


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Perspycacious - It is a sad and unfortunate truth that in today's world, and most likely even in the world of yesteryear, there are families out there who do not act like families, and even within my own family, there are individuals who have forgotten that which they were taught. I have been extremely blessed, both by parents and grandparents who believed in family, and therefore taught me to believe as well, and by a husband and in-laws and a small group of people who are more family than friends. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and your comments, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Remember that our responsibility is to teach our children, not to learn for them, or to do their remembering and practicing of what we taught them.

If we don't teach them, their sins are on our heads.

Friends and family who are in our lives as "family" are a tremendous blessing we should all be constantly thankful for.


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Perspycacious, I am absolutely in agreement with you, and hope with all my heart that my husband and I have done just that with our own children. My two adult children are 19 and 20 and it seems that they are so far so good. They are both responsible, compassionate human beings who value their relationships with their family. Of course, with 7 year old, we still have a ways to go.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Perspycacious,

You are a fine writer and know exactly how to pinpoint an issue whether it be sensitive or controversial.

I enjoy your work. Keep it up.


bigj1969 profile image

bigj1969 2 years ago from glasgow

Great words,I'm a family man.i think if I'm truthfull my kids teach me as much as I try to teach them.

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