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October 21st, 2017

The Ornament

By G. E. Shuman

Only weeks ago we climbed the stairs,
To the attic, behind the old door.
And went to the corner, where ‘Christmasʼ is kept,
In boxes stacked high on the floor.

We brought the stack down to the living room,
Two flights from its cold storage spot.
And opened it up, just like every year,
Quite amazed at all weʼd forgot.

The boxes held ornaments, bound for the tree,
And garlands and wreath bows and wire.
Most things quite familiar from years of use,
Like the stockings we hang by the fire.

We opened up memories, box after box,
But some things I could barely recall.
Did we use these lights on the tree last year,
Or the archways in the hall?

And then, there it was, as it always is,
One more thing I forgot to remember.
It waited so patiently, most of a year,
To be shown just the weeks of December.

The small ornament, I admire so much,
And display on the mantle each year;
A ceramic love story, proclaimed without words,
With a meaning quite beautifully clear.

For there Santa kneels, in most worshipful prayer,
By the tiniest manger of hay.
His gaze toward the infant lying there,
On that very first Christmas Day.

Not a sign of a bow, or a gift, or a sleigh,
Not a reindeer at all to be seen.
Just St. Nick, with his furry hat tossed to the ground,
In a show of what this day should mean.

When Christmas has passed, weʼll just go get the stack,
to pack up the ribbons and lights.
And Santa will wait, to remind us next year,
Jesus came on that most holy night.

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