"Christmas Light Campfire"
by Arianna Schifman '21
The air, the ground, the wind, and my fingers are cold, My skin, my voice, my thoughts crack. Days and patience and rest get shorter and shorter. My eyes sting and it hardly matters if it’s the wind or everything else.
That is how the season greets me.
Midterms and lamentations and empty promises and scratching out the past on every new worksheet when I remember wrong.
That’s the New Year I see awaits me.
Landmarks spell nothing when all they direct me towards is the same day, the same night, the same week, the same fears, the same grade, the same tears, takes up in the distance an avalanche of New Years for me to promise will be different.
But I can promise nothing for them, have no weapons with which to fight a path.
This is it, for now, for me.
This is what has happened and this is what will happen and I’m too busy with what’s happening for detours.
So what does it matter that it’s Christmas again? Christmas is a color scheme of continuation, a name for a day someone could bear to allow the remain another Tuesday. Christmas is a set of obligations I’m obligated to enjoy.
Christmas doesn’t really matter
But it does matter that my family comes home, come whole It matters we take up two whole pews at mass again, It matters to walk out the door for another day of school to see my home wrapped tight in shining and glittering.
Shopping and presents and gift getting and sweets and trees and parties aren’t Christmas. And yet-
These things hold Christmas within them the way no mere date can be held. They hold remembrance and anticipation of joy, of that glow when know, for absolute sure when they open the box in just a few more mornings, you can change their world.
Christmas is the joy that comes with a warning Sends its prey Christmas cards scented like cinnamon and pine
Christmas is an instruction that rings a little clearer just today Make clear a path for the Lord Go back to the place and the people that made you Someone is waiting to welcome you home Do not despair when you see the lights we have set on our way Do not despair when you see the treasures we’ve set aside for that day Do not dismiss what you have seen as a distraction, a perversion It is how we know
Winter is almost over The sun is coming soon Join us in feast, for the Son is coming sooner Do not despair - because the cold and the dark have tired in their conquest We are going to win Tonight, we are going to sit by each other And not a thing in this world could make this family cold.
My blessings do not come with Christmas After the wise men exit They’ll make no glance upon escape And I know they never leave me When I seek them, they’ll offer peace
But tonight, all my blessings glimmer against the snow of our yet darkest winter As bright and beautiful as a string of little colored lights To remind me what Christmas means to me