This Poem Is About the Gift of Family - Poetry For the Holiday Season
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.
© 2011 Kristen Burns-Darling