Through the snow-sprayed window, I see
a Christmas tree—white, blue, and beachy;
seashells, starfish, and sand dollars adorn,
shiny packages atop a white shag skirt well-worn.
The porch light is on, and carolers come in shorts,
standing on the stoop in flip-flops—a casual sort;
holiday movies are playing in the living room,
Christmas lights twinkling to dispel the twilight gloom.
A lady in a sundress and sandals opens the door,
calling her husband and children away from the décor.
Candles rather than logs glow in the fireplace,
while stockings with names do the mantle grace.
Marshmallows swirl in hot chocolate bliss,
bringing warmth to the silvery winter solstice;
the hydrangeas and azalea blooms will be here soon,
but in the meantime, the festivities brighten the dark afternoon.
The bells of St. Luke’s toll in the steeple bower,
as do the bells from the college clock tower;
at the Mount of Olives Church, a wonderland of white lights
shine like ten thousand halos—a billion stars burning bright.
Choirs of young schoolchildren sing in rows,
paper snowflakes completing the wintry tableau,
while older children perform A Christmas Carol,
donning their turn-of-the-last-century apparel.
The streets glisten with neither sleet nor snow,
but with the reflection of lights and candle glow;
a mist has imbued the balmy, breezy air,
silhouetting the trees, their branches bare.
The beauty of the beach is pristine and clear,
for it is deserted this Yuletide time of year;
standing on a dune is a snowman with eyes of charcoal,
made of white sugar sand and a conch for a nose.
Families fill polished, wooden pews for Midnight Mass,
moonlight shining through windows of stained glass,
their faces patterned like a fragmented kaleidoscope
with the colors of awe, wonder, peace, love, joy, and hope.
Strains of “Silent Night” sung in German,
followed by a Christmas sermon,
swell the hallowed, high-ceilinged space,
for surely, His presence is in this place.
Punch cups of eggnog, laced with cherry brandy,
complement a plate of pecan divinity candy.
Santa will be sated, and the kids will vigil keep,
with flocks of pillowy sheep to count before they sleep.
Neither sleds nor snow blanket the ground,
and there are no days spent snowbound;
yet Christmas here in this little town of Southern parts
is every bit as wonderful and real as those in Yankee hearts.