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The Precious Christmas Card and Other Festive Poetry

Updated on February 5, 2016
As the Postman visited that cold December day.
As the Postman visited that cold December day. | Source

Inside Jean's World

When the letterbox banged,

On that cold December day,

Jean shuffled with bent bones,

To collect bills she couldn’t pay.


Her green cardigan gaped,

Due to buttons long displaced.

Her shivering cold testimony,

To a world now in disgrace.


She picked up the envelope,

In faded, pale, worn hands.

Unknown words gazed back,

As she began to understand.


Weary pain now wringing,

Whilst she dropped onto her chair.

Threadbare arms and shoelace legs,

Another soul misplaced out there.


She slowly stroked the paper,

Blue eyes began to shine.

Shaky hands began to tear,

Already knowing what she'd find.


The card wasn’t really special,

Some children in the snow.

Laughing with their snowman,

Small cheeks red and all aglow.


Opening up the precious card,

Words greeted her inside.

‘To granddad, love from Timmy,’

She wasn’t sad, had no false pride.


Hugging the card, close to her chest,

Her eyes filled up with tears.

Although the card was not her own,

It was her first in fourteen years.


That little card in a child’s hand,

Brought her so much joy that day.

Happiness is always found,

In the love we freely give away.



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The New Years Day Resolution That Changed

Whilst she watched the clock hands click,

Her mind ticking back to past New Year’s.

The gentle face smiled at the thought,

Of past resolutions fueled by fears.


At twenty when she’d cut back meals,

Focused to lose her excess weight,

A distorted picture in her head,

Slimness her pass to a happy state.


At thirty she’d promised to change her job,

She needed much more respect you see.

To be the boss was that year’s goal.

Status and glory would set her free.


Five years on, new friends her aim,

Chosen to aid her social ascent.

Old acquaintances no longer held,

Their kindness just a forgotten scent.


Twelve months on and times had changed,

Long hours and falseness bleached her soul.

Numbness and vodka her only friends,

Abstinence became that year’s goal.


Fourteen years were then wiped away,

Thinking back, Annie took her blame.

A blackout of self hate and drink,

No resolutions, just a blanket of pain.


Then she’d found the will to live,

Her mind relived what she'd found.

On New Year’s Eve she’d saw a man,

Broken. Lying on frozen ground.


Bruises on face and lips of blue,

The power in his legs drained away.

She'd ran for help and saved his life,

He’d had a massive stroke that day.


The gratitude inside his eyes,

Brought Annie back to life that year.

Then she began to reach out and help,

Unlocking her cage of guilt and fear.


Now today as Annie thinks ahead,

Of all the love that she can give.

Her lesson tolls that helping others,

For a contented soul, is the only way to live.

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© 2013 Anna Haven

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Anna, you poem is sad yet beautiful. We have the power to reach out and touch someone, even if by mistake. I'm so glad Jean found the misdirected card. It gave her joy.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes Anna, beautifully sad.....Christmas can be a season of great contrast, either wonderfully happy, or incredibly sad. Well written and a joy to read.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was very lovely, Anna, with a beautiful message for all at the end. Well done my friend....sad but beautiful.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Anna, you have a wonderful talent to be able to touch our hearts

      as you paint your vision with the power of your words.

      This poem is particularly poignant with a powerful message.

      Think about sharing it with you village paper. It could shine a

      light on the plight of the poor, elderly people in your area.

      This work is amazing, and you have given us a wake up call,

      right here before Christmas.

      Bless you, Anna!

      DJ.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      So timely! Feeling nostalgic after reading this beautiful piece!

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      You've captured the same spirit as that which described your other Hub article about ' Timothy North ', though this one has a shining beam of hope at the end, but I feel a little sorry for grandad and wonder how he'll feel when he receives nothing from Tiny Tim - perhaps the grandad is Timothy North,....now wouldn't that be a coincidence? :) Maybe the card is for Jean's deceased husband, but you leave us guessing with your lovely verse, and bring to the fore the knowledge that there will be many lonely elderly this time of year just like grandma; felt a touch of Donnie Darko in there as well.

      Regarding your question about life being predestined; I believe God works in all things ( Romans 8: 28-32 ).

      Thank you for a pensive and meaningful poem; great work.

      Best Wishes,

      R.Q.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      What a beautiful poem, Anna! Sad and beautiful I should say. Maybe hopeful for some changes? At this time of the year when everybody is so busy, some people are left alone and it's a really sad time. I am in a choir and at this time of the year we go sing in nursing homes may be for some of those people who will have no visit or no card at this time of the year.

      Thank you for sharing your talent with this beautiful poem!

      Have a nice week!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So close to tears...and that is not an easy thing to do to me. You are a splendid writer as I could sense from the first time I read you. Up and sharing.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      This was lovely, simple greeting and appreciation that goes a long way. It even helped make my day. Voted up!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, how beautiful, Anna ... "the love we give away" ...yes, it doesn't get any better than that for sure. Truly makes one think of the smallest of things that can bring much joy to a lonely person. Very lovely and sad.

      Super write.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Beautiful poem. We forget how lonely some people are and how important it is to reach out.

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 3 years ago from Australia

      Beautiful and touching

      Your imagery was amazing I could see this old forgotten woman so clearly in my minds eye. Her joy was almost palatable, a perfect Christmas poem for our modern times

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bravewarrior

      Thank you very much for reading. I was really glad Jean got the card too :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Jodah for reading and your kind comment. It seems to highlight the divide even more than normal.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Bill

      It is sad but unfortunately is also the reality for so many. Hopefully one day that will change.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi DJ

      thank you for your really kind comment. I am so glad that you can feel the emotion I was trying to convey, that makes me happy and it also reassures me that I am going the right way with my writing.

      How is the novel going?

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
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      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much CrisSp for readng and commenting. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi RQ

      It is in a similar vein; it is something I feel really strongly about.

      I like how you have created Jean a backstory and also some foreshadowing. :)

      I am unfamiliar with the bible, but I looked up your reference. So you do believe that lives are predestined as per God's will.

      I believe our soul's path and learning is laid out before us, from before we are born.

      Thank you for reading RQ and for your engaging comment.

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Joelle

      It is really sad when you consider that some older people can go for weeks without speaking to anyone except the person that serves them in the local shop. There are lessons to be learned from passed times.

      Your choir sounds such a good idea; with my singing voice I would never be allowed to join anything similar! Good on you Joelle for reaching out and probably making some lives just a little brighter.

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Jackie

      I am sorry you were sad, but I am so glad you could feel the emotion and the injustice I was trying to convey. Thank you very much for understanding and taking the time to read, comment and share.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Word55

      Thank you very much for reading and your kind comment. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much Faith Reaper for reading, voting and sharing.

      You have a very strong essence of giving and love within all of your writing and also your comments on other's hubs.

      Anna :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you FlourishAnyway for reading and commenting. There is a lot of lonely people out there.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi nighthag

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read and also for saying I have achieved a contemporary Christmas Poem. That is a compliment. :)

    • profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago

      Anna I was moved.. the line that got me most and its one that you wouldn't expect to really be a stick out line is the first stanza

      When the letterbox banged,

      On that cold December day,

      Jean shuffled with bent bones,

      To collect bills she couldn’t pay...

      Too many people nowadays experience this :( Great stuff

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      An awesome poem and so well thought out and written. Christmas blessings to you.

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 3 years ago

      Beautiful but sad too as it reminds us about all the loneliness that is all too common, especially at this time of year. Very well written:-))

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Frank. You are absolutely right. There is so much pain at the moment for so many people; hopefully a change will come soon.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very BlossomSB for reading and for your kind comment. Sending Christmas wishes back to you. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Valleypoet. :) There must be answers we just collectively need to find them.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This is such a wonderful poem, especially for this time of the year. Beautiful, yet so very sad. I think the Universe conspired to bring some Christmas joy. I hope you'll also have a joyful Christmas.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This is one of the most moving poems I have read in a while...simply beautiful, yet sad. I like your use of imagery that brings us into this woman's world...I wanted to reach out and hug her. Voted up and sharing.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Canada Post just announced two days ago that they will cut the door to door service of delivering the mail everywhere in Canada within 5 years. So that means that some older people will not see their daily visit of the mail "person". And on top of it some people might not have the strength to go further away from their house to pick up their mail. This is very sad! Times are changing!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Anna, this is such a lovely poem with so much emotion, feelings, memories, full of nostalgia -- and your photos add beautifully to the essence of the woman you portray so divinely with words. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, Anna.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      This is touching but sad. There are so many people who are in this position. So lonely and craving the love and tenderness of others.

      It breaks my heart to think of those who have no one. When we lived in the UK there were pensioners who had to choose to heat their homes or eat, it is just heartbreaking.

      Another point, it is lovely to see a Georgian post box.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much tobusiness. I would like to think sometimes the universe works some Christmas magic. You have a great Christmas too. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Genna

      thank you for your kind comment and for sharing.

      I loved how you wanted to hug Jean. Thank you very much. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Oh Joelle, that is awful. How are older people meant to get there mail? Especially in bad weather. Changes aren't always for the better.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much Phyllis Doyle for your kind comment. I am really glad you could feel and sense Jean's character. Thanks so much.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Blond Logic

      Thank you for reading and your kind comment.

      The situation hasn't changed. Fuel prices are rocketing and this has left a lot of vunerable people in a bad place. Hopefully things will get better soon.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello annahaven.

      You've touched depth of human being by presenting sad reality of our days . For some reason ( perhaps known, no one willing to talk about ) a social system we are contributing to , abounds in theory withholding actions of care, compassionate appreciation and grace. " Love " has became an abused noun ( on this continent so much so ) ignoring hurts , pain, loneliness of elderly neighbor as if never heard " love your neighbor as yourself ." Seems to me as man is gradually drifting from the God and godliness LOVE is losing its genuine power.

      Voting up on all counts for this Hub, (except funny ).

      Have a blessed Sunday.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much Michael-Milec. Your words speak the truth. Compassion and meaning seem to be slipping away like sand in a world where the need for healing is growing by the day.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read, the votes and especially your insightful comment.

      Anna

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      This is so lovely and touching. We forget that just a simple thing as a Christmas card can make someone's day. It doesn't cost much and is so thoughtful. In an era when people don't care or send greetings by email or e-card, a card that can be held and felt is wonderful. This is such a poignant poem and I enjoyed reading it and it tugged at my heartstrings.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much suzettenaples for reading, commenting and feeling what I was trying to express. Your right, the tiniest gesture can make a huge difference to someone's day.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Anna, that is so true. It would be so nice to visit a nursing home, to see that one person that hasn't had visitors for years. It could literally, give them a new lease on life.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      It is true Aviannovice. We never know the true value of our actions towards others. Thank you for reading and commenting. :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      We never know what a pleasant countenance can mean to a lonely soul, what even a kindness to someone else may do for a person not even involved in a situation! Your poem calls to us, conveying much more than the words on the paper, so to speak...

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi RTallonni

      You are right, each action we take ripples out to so many other people, some indirectly. Thank you for reading and for your interesting comment. Anna

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Anna,

      I am sharing this beautiful piece here so that all the newbies may read it!

      Blessings always

    • samuel hodges profile image

      samuel hodges 2 years ago from Winston-Salem NC

      Beautifully written. Dynamically touching!

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Faith Reaper. :) I can't believe the festive season is nearly here again!

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much for reading Samuel Hodges and for your kind words.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Very beautiful poem. Thanks.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you for reading and also for your kind comment mantita44.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Your work is so moving here--Beautifully done Anna!

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Audrey. From a gifted poet like yourself that is a compliment. :)

    • samuel hodges profile image

      samuel hodges 2 years ago from Winston-Salem NC

      Very nice. So often so little is done for others and we live day to day without thought of how just giving a little care can make someone's day.

      Thanx, Anna.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Samuel Hodges. It is true what is a passing thought to one person is a lifeline to another. Thank you for reading. :)

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