The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Christmas Journey

By Tilitha Waicekauskas © 1991

Issue: December, 1991

When it's Christmas in the country
My heart always wanders back
To those Christmases in childhood
In a mansion called a shack.

There weren't many presents
For there wasn't any cash,
But our Mama's hands were clever -
She made treasures out of trash.

We had a tiny Christmas tree
With bright and shining balls,
And it couldn't have stood prouder
Were it gracing marble halls

And the stove was glowing brightly
Making such a cozy spot
In the corner just behind it
That will never be forgot.

Emily played the old piano
And we all would gather round
As we sang the Christmas carols
Filled with joyous, happy sound.

The house was filled with secrets,
Laughter, joy and peace as well.
It was also filled with promise
From the kitchen's lovely smell.

For the girls were making candy.
Mom was making lots of pies.
Popcorn balls and peanut brittle
Daddy made for our surprise.

And for days the kitchen reigned supreme
- The center of our days -
While the snow was falling softly
Just beyond the window's glaze.

I can see us all together
In the lamplight's mellow glow
While our Mama told the story
Of that Christmas long ago.

And it made us feel so happy,
Thinking of that Holy Night
When the Christmas Star was shining
Down from Heaven, clear and bright.

And finally it was Christmas Eve,
And after prayers were said,
We hung our stockings on our chairs
And toddled off to bed.

And I'd think about those hated hose,
So ugly, brown and long,
But on Christmas Eve they didn't seem
So ugly or so wrong.

For lo! On Christmas morning
They were filled with lots of treats!
And I was glad of extra length
To hold my Christmas sweets!

For those long and ugly stockings
Would be filled right to their tops
With candy, nuts and fruit galore
And even chocolate drops!

But that was many years ago.
We're scattered near and far,
And Christmases are different now
Though under the same Star.

But it's such a lovely journey
For my heart to wander back
To those Christmases together
In our cozy mansion shack.