Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Tradition Rides the Bus

The Bug and I were married December 15, 1990.  That first Christmas our friends and family were lucky just to see our smiling faces - we were, among other things, busy writing thank you cards, not Christmas cards.  The next year, 1991, we wrote personal notes in select Christmas cards, and we think our notes were fairly poetic.  Foolishly, we did not keep a copy of what we wrote.  Who knows - it might have been pure genius!  In 1992, we began a tradition that we continue to this day - sending out a poem with our Christmas cards.  As for the writing, some years have been far more challenging than others, and yet we try.  We alternate, for the most part, who is the primary author (The Bug keeps a score card - of course!), and style can vary significantly.  Some poems get heavily edited by the non-author and are true collaborations, while others go out just as they were first written.  At this point in the game, all we really remember is who wrote the first version.  In any event, with our 20th anniversary just around the corner, I thought I would share with you the Christmas poem I wrote on the occasion of our 10th:

The tree is not so big this year,
A compromise, nothing near the size
Of the behemoth it succeeds.
Hard choices must be made,
Not all our old familiar friends
Can nestle in its finite boughs.

Remember Wake Forest, 1991,
A tree much smaller even than this,
Yet big enough for gifts we shared.
Sitting on the bed, one year wed,
Writing notes in some, not all, the cards,
Who knows what we said?  Please tell us!

House, tree, bed, old friends, now gone,
We hold on to memories, mellowing
As they age in the cellars of our hearts.
“Our First Christmas” couple, as then,
Will swing in their heart from a limb,
Midst penguins aplenty, rest assured.

Foghorn Leghorn and Snoopy
And Hallmark keepsakes, by the score,
And souvenirs from far and near
And balls and beads and bells
And bows, red, gold, and purple,
Will trim the tree once more.

Other treasures we’ll set aside,
The joy they bring deferred,
Boxed up but not discarded.
How could they ever be?
Look at them, they are forever
Part of you and me.

Humbly submitted by an exhausted Dr. Linthead as a ticket for this week's Poetry Bus, driven, of all things, by Titus the Dog (thanks, Joanne!).


Gerry Snape said...

I love your tradition. That makes the world go round and gives structure to our lives!

Kat Mortensen said...

What a lovely post, CL! I know exactly what you both meant about those ornaments that are stored, but never discarded. We have one from our first year with a pair of toucans!

That is one terrific wedding photo! You both look splendid! (I can't stop using exclamation marks!)

Kev and I were married in '94. Our wedding was really small. I mean REALLY small - I think there were 20 people in the church!

Thank you for sharing your loving and wonderful tradition. It looks like you're just as happy (if not more) today as you were back then.


The Bug said...

Wow, has it really been 10 years since we "downsized" the tree? Time flies when you're living life, doesn't it.

Neva Flores said...

What a talented couple you guys are.

Ann T. said...

Dear C.L.,
That is a lovely poem and a lovely glimpse at a good life.

Thank you!

I have grandma's candleabra out
Red candles on old silver.
A few ornaments hanging on that.

Have a lovely season.
Ann T.

Rachel Fox said...

Great idea for Xmas - so much better than the smug Xmas letters...

Jayne said...

Awwww.... how sweet! Love seeing this photo of the two of you on your special day. BTW, hubby and I were married 2/9/90. :c)

Titus said...

If you needed to get a poem out for the Bus, Carolina (Mr Linthead?), what better place to get it from?
Beautiful, heartening work, resonant of Helen's lovely haiku.
And seasonal!

Finally, a big wow to The Bug's Dress. And Hat. And the never-ending candles...

Enchanted Oak said...

Thank you for this glimpse into your youth and love and traditions. Happy 20th anniversary!
Rest well from your labors.

Carolina Linthead said...

Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by! Thanks for being so excited, Kat! We had lots of friends and two church congregations to accommodate, so yes, it was a pretty big affair.

Joanne, we often joke that there are three of us in this picture: The Bug, myself, and The Dress :-) We were VERY afraid of all the candles! We didn't do the unity candle thing, for fear of some conflagration.

We love our tradition, too, Gerry, and take great joy in sharing it, even in the years when writing the poem is a real struggle. And Jayne, 1990 was a good year for weddings!

Helen said...

So Lovely ...

Traditions tell stories. Year after year, generation after generation. Thank you for sharing yours.
Happy Holidays!

Dave King said...

You conjure magical things and recall others - wonderful!

Jingle Poetry said...

Happy anniversary.
you two look cute.

Cad said...

Essence of Christmas distilled, then?

NCmountainwoman said...

Happy Anniversary! I love the score card Bug keeps. Both of you are so talented and I always love your poems.

Totalfeckineejit said...

THat s artuly lovely poem Mr Linthead.