Oh, Joyful Holiday

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Christmas Eve in our island’s valley

an island family tradition we’ve been welcomed into
three years now
so nice to be welcomed into this
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where Santa makes his appearance amid holiday ham, strong holiday punch, traditional live music.
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I believe in Santa’s magic, however fleeting
simply so wonderful she still wholeheartedly believes.
Santa: Olive’s first crush.
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Our Eve was fever-full at 103 degrees,
and we left the party early, just as the music began
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our kitty, Slinky Chipa-wow-wow, played reindeer
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as Luke spit out front porch’s carrots and oatmeal 
too bad there wasn’t any snow for reindeer hoof prints
and we ate the cookies, drank the milk and we talked:
Of all the jobs we’ve had, Santa is definitely the best.
Lucy felt
too yucky to open gifts
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Betty said
she deserves the first gift of Christmas
and happily began handing out and helping open gifts.
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This year we had a quiet Christmas, 
a much simpler time
Santa delivered the one gift they dreamed of
a cat family camper, a special baby doll, a jar of tiny toy cats – all different breeds
it’s funny to think how we never could have chosen for them
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Luke and I made a few, like
take so long to cut out fabric paper dolls
and the tiger that took me so long to knit
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Olive wished so badly it was hers, Olive Tig-gy!
Luke loved his under-hardhat cap I knit
and we all got a good laugh from
stockings’ silly gifts
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while loved ones from around the country
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wrapped and sent Oh it’s perfect, Mama and No way I love it; Daddy look!
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and our most favorite, most cherished will forever be
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what our little darlings made us
a bag of little goodies, a stack of lovely drawings
and we hang on to the memory
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of Olive opening gifts like her great grandmas, long since past
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carefully, melodically
all the while slowly.
We hang on to the slow days
sleeping in late
pancakes at noon, smoothies every day
no snow, 
but even with middle one’s acute bronchitis
winter break is perfectly relaxing, perfectly simple.
As for tomorrow, 
I think I’ll let them jump on my bed for as long as they want…
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