In 1992, I was out of work and broke as a joke drinking Coke. At Christmas, I relied on my God-given talents, and wrote a poem, which I included in everyone’s Christmas card. This would be their present from me.
The tradition has continued since. As a special treat to my loyal readers, I thought I’d share the story I wrote for the 2001 Christmas card:
The Christmas Dream
I was riding my bike in Alaska,
And stopped at North Pole.
I spoke to Santa, and Mrs. Claus fed me homemade chocolate chip cookies.
The dream was so real that I could still smell the cookies.
Then I heard it again… the sound of faint whispering coming from elsewhere in the house.
I stepped into my fuzzy bunny slippers and pulled on my robe.
I reached for the baseball bat in the closet and leaped into the hallway.
Down the hall, the warm glow of twinkling Christmas tree lights bounced along the walls…
But didn’t I turn off the lights before I went to bed?
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that it was Christmas morning –
ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN!
My heart began to race, and adrenaline pumped through my veins as I peeked around the corner into the living room.
There was a quick flash of light, did I see…?!?! Nah! Couldn’t be!
Convinced that I was seeing things, I got back to business.
I cocked the baseball bat on my shoulder, ready to give any intruder a surprise.
My breath came in short bursts, and I listened intently to the silence –
After checking the doors and windows, I slowly caught my breath.
I opened the refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of Gatorade.
Hey… didn’t Santa offer me Gatorade in my dream?
I plopped down on the couch and rested my fuzzy bunny feet on the coffee table.
Looking at the Christmas tree, I became mesmerized by the blinking lights.
My eyes grew heavy, but snapped open, as I became very aware that something was different.
In the corner, partially hidden by the lighted tree, was a brightly wrapped box with a large red bow on top.
I stood up and glanced briefly into the kitchen…
Hey, is that a plate of cookies?
I walked curiously to the kitchen table.
Sure enough, there was a paper plate of cookies wrapped in plastic wrap.
Sticking out from underneath the plate of cookies was an envelope.
Gingerly, I slid the envelope from under the plate.
In thick letters, that could be mistaken for my mom’s writing, was written my name.
“Dear Matt,” the letter inside began,
“It was most wonderful meeting you last year in North Pole.
We kept tabs on you in Montana this year, and although you had knee problems, we were encouraged that you were able to help others have a terrific experience!”
I was frozen with disbelief, but continued reading:
“Here is a plate of chocolate chip cookies. I remember that you were very fond of them.
“I hope you and you family have a most magical Christmas, and your wonderful friends as well!”
It was signed:
“Ho-lee shhhh…” I muttered.
I ripped the plastic wrap from the cookies. Unbelievably, they were still warm!!!
I sank my teeth into the delicious treat and turned my attention back to the box in the living room.
I kneeled down next to the box, which was nearly two-feet tall.
“To Matt”, the label on top said,
As I moved the box closer to me, I noticed it was nearly weightless.
I sat down cross-legged, smiling like a kid,
And tore at the big red bow and brightly colored paper.
I pulled open the box and eagerly reached inside.
There was a picture.
In the light of the Christmas tree, I recognized the picture from last Christmas Eve.
I smiled, remembering how amazing Christmas seemed last year.
I set down the photo and reached back into the box.
There was another picture, circa mid 1990’s.
Again, I happily relived warm Christmas thoughts.
I reached into the box again and again.
Each time, there was a single photograph,
And each photograph triggered another beautiful Christmas memory.
Near tears now, having gone through Christmas pictures that spanned my entire life,
I again reached into the box.
This time, I pulled out a card.
“May the happy memories of Christmases past
Fill your pores with the true spirit of Christmas.
When my tears finally abated, I awoke my sleeping legs.
To my amazement, the photos had disappeared,
But the card remained in my grip.
The clock struck 6am.
I placed the card on the kitchen table next to the cookies and went back to bed,
Hoping to dream about Santa and Mrs. Claus,
So I could thank them for such an amazing gift.