‘tis the season…

December 6, 2011

border lights for a holiday letterPerhaps it’s already begun: your mailbox has burped forth the first of the holiday letters. If not yet, surely soon: paper or electronic missives to catch us up with friends and family, achievements large and small.

In the spirit of the season, of wanting to mark the passing of another year, how might the impulse be transformed? A holiday letter poem? Eschew saccharine rhymes. Abandon the impulse to capture every one of the year’s maudlin moments. Instead, consider writing a poem about…

  • the conversation in your head about getting a Christmas tree
  • the faces, and the dishes, around the Thanksgiving table
  • someone you miss
  • the feeling of walking among friends and strangers at the first protest march you’ve ever attended
  • something you’ve given up
  • the first moment you held the new baby
  • holiday lights on a neighbor’s house
  • walking on the first snow of the season
  • holiday letters
  • a childhood holiday memory
  • the gift you didn’t get
  • the gift you received
  • prayer
  • being cold, or being warm enough, or not being warm enough
  • being alone
  • finding the right gifts
  • feeling conflicted about gift-giving
  • a sacred moment
  • having enough, or not having enough
  • something you lost
  • something you found
  • your favorite holiday food
  • a winter vista
  • something unfinished
  • something just begun

The list of possibilities goes on. Happy writing. Please share!

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