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Merry Christmas 1999

October 4, 2011

I realized today that there are only about 12 weeks until Christmas.  So, in honor of the beginning of the “so busy you can’t hardly breathe” season, I will blog each of my Christmas poems, one a week, until I either a) write this year’s or b) write a depressing blog about how I can’t write a poem this year.

The first poem is below.  First,  here is a little story I want to share.  It is the story of my first Christmas poem.  It’s kind of a birth story, without all the blood and placenta and stuff.


A tired, homeschooling mom  has just left Meijer’s at 11:48 PM, December 16, 1999.  The best part about homeschooling is that your children are with you all the time.  The worst part about homeschooling is that shopping is really hard because of the best part about homeschooling.  She chooses Meijer’s because they’re open 24 hours a day and they sell everything.  When it’s nine days before Christmas, she needs EVERYTHING.

She and her family live way, way out in the country so shopping anywhere means a long ride to and from any store.  Tonight’s trip is 25 minutes, one way.  It’s snowing, of course.  Why wouldn’t it be?

Absolute panic sets in as she pulls out of the parking lot because the radio station is playing Christmas carols.  Instead of setting a Currier and Ives mood, they have the exact opposite effect and she is beginning to realize that she isn’t even remotely ready for Christmas.

Sure, she baked a couple of kinds of cookies but she usually bakes eighty to a hundred dozen cookies, which she divides onto many decorative trays and gives to the pediatrician, the dentist, the hairdresser, the neighbors, the mail carrier and her husband’s office.

She has purchased a few gifts for her kids but has no Santa gifts or stocking stuffers and no gifts for the grand-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, god-children or friends.

She realizes that she never did make it to the walk-in portrait place at the mall, which specializes in very fast photos priced specifically for disorganized moms like her.  She put off taking photos because the two babies had been sick back and forth since Thanksgiving and still had chapped cheeks and noses.  Now it’s too late to capture their angelic faces to mail them all over the country.

Cards.  Crap!  There are about 170 Christmas cards that have to be signed, sealed, stamped and mailed.  She likes to write a line or two in each card because she is either very friendly or pathologically verbose.  Mmm hmmm, probably that last one.

She just can’t bring herself to type up one of those “Egbert, the children and I are amazing this year and here is my ten page letter to prove it to you” Christmas letters.  So not her style.  If only there was a way to mass produce a personal greeting that is fun to write and fun to read.  She has forgotten two things: that our every thought is heard by God and that she is one of His favorites.

She turns off the radio because she needs to make good use of her time while she is driving home, practically in the middle of the night.  So many things to do in the next nine, nope, now eight days.  How will she ever get it all done?  Her parents always made sure that each family Christmas was the most magical Christmas ever and she is compelled to give her own little family a perfect Christmas, too.  No pressure.

Instead of making use of the quiet interior of her mini-van, her mind wanders, if you can call racing at the speed of light “wandering.”  She recites in her head Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas and her holiday panic, her love of words and her love of her family collides in her brain and she starts to re-work the famous poem, just to entertain herself.  By the time she gets home, she is buzzing.  She has just composed her first Christmas letter.

Her wonderful husband greets her in the garage and together they hurriedly put away groceries.  He takes the kids’ gifts she bought tonight to hide them with the others.  She kisses him goodnight and tells him she is going to work on Christmas cards for a bit before going to bed.  He patiently sighs because he has learned that suggesting she go to bed because it’s after 12:30 is of no use.

She races to her basement school room/office and turns on her computer, barely able to contain the words in her head.  When the computer finishes waking up her hands trip over themselves.  The words are actually working.

Around 3:00 she finishes editing, prints one copy and reads it aloud to Tootsie, her schnauzer, who had been softly snoring at her feet.  The dog listens attentively, probably hoping that this interaction means they can finally go upstairs and sleep in their beds like normal people.  The owner finishes reading and begins to weep which freaks both of them out a little.

Tootsie will probably forget this weird interaction by morning.  Her owner will probably remember it for the rest of her life.

Merry Christmas 1999!

It’s the week before Christmas, my house is a mess.

I’d need ten elves to clean it, not a single elf less

My cookies are half baked, my presents half bought,

My cards half addressed and my nerves are half shot.

I bought both girls new dresses and Benny a suit,

I forgot to do portraits, but trust me they’re cute.

Why do minutes tick by when an hour seems to fly?

Oh why do I freak out at Christmas, just why??

I’ve so much to thank God for, my heart’s full of joy.

He has blessed us so richly, two girls and our boy.


Anna, grown up, just this year turned eleven.

She’s a loving big sister, our first gift from Heaven.

She’s an excellent student, I know she won’t mind

If I tell you she’s funny, creative and kind.

Our Anna will start seventh grade very soon

Yes, we still teach our kids in our basement school room.


Our Ben has turned four, such a loving wee man.

He plays like a warrior, as hard as he can

He likes Star Wars, his toys and he really loves bugs,

He eats PB & J and he loves to give hugs.

He is smart just like Daddy.  He is silly and dear.

Kindergarten will start the first week of the year.


I still can’t believe our sweet Kolbe  is one.

Oh, I tell you that baby is just so much fun.

She is happy and healthy.  She just loves to hide.

Open up any closet, you’ll find her inside.

She is active and vibrant and man! Can she run!

She can say many words like “uh-oh” and “all done.”


My Jon is my rock and my very best friend.

I thank God that he’s mine and will be till the end.

He still works for Nissan, still travels a lot.

But he always comes home, if he wants to or not.

He is great with the kids and they mug him with glee,

When he walks in the door and they all yell “DADDY!”

He turned forty this year, yet he still looks the same.

Country air and well water are surely to blame.


As for me, I’m the same, twenty-three in September

Please don’t ask my real age because I don’t remember.

As I prayerfully pursue my Homeschool career,

I just cannot believe this is our seventh year!

I love being a mother and being a wife.

God has blessed me with truly a wonderful life.

I’ve my family, my parents, my siblings, my friends.

Oh, the list of my blessings is a list without ends.


When I started this poem I was really stressed out.

Now I’ve listed my blessings, know what I’ve found out?

Christmas isn’t cookies or housework or gifts.

It is not about toys or shopping in shifts.

Christmas was the birth of the Savior of all.

He didn’t come to get really great deals at the mall.

He came into our world on that cold winter’s night,

So that we’d all enjoy Heaven’s wonderful Sight.


He dwelled here on Earth both for you and for me,

So that one day he’d die on a hill on a tree.

He was born so that one day he’d save us through death

‘Twas for us, from his first to his very last breath.

I will try to remember these facts all year long.

To do anything else with my life would be wrong.

I will try to give all that I do back to Him,

My savior, my God, my Jesus, my King.


May Our Precious Lord and His loving mother hold you and yours in Their loving arms, both now and throughout the Jubilee Year 2000.

Your Sister in Christ,


December 17, 1999

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