The Littlest Star

The littlest star on my Christmas tree
is one that shines so bright for me.
It was placed there by a little boy
who has brought his dad and me much joy.
He cut the star from felt so white–
it even shines in the darkest night.
Now, our son has matured and grown.
He’s now a man with a home of his own.
He trims a different Christmas treeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
in another state so far from me.
As I remember his childhood days
and think of all the many ways
he brought us joy and happiness,
I know how truly we are blessed,
and in the light of that little star
our wishes go so very far
to kiss a little boy on the head
in another state in a little bed.
And I speak to that Star of Bethlehem,
shine Thy light so brightly on him
so that Thy Truth he will grow to see
the Special Light of my Christmas tree!

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Christmas tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lamp to Guide

San Juan Capistrano
God’s word is like a lamp that guides my feet
when evil tries to push them far away
from narrow path that leads to golden street
of Heaven, where I want to go someday.
God’s love is like a lamp that shines soft white
into my heart to ship away black sin
and steers the way through shadows of dark night
until bright sunbeams glow like flames within.
Forgiven, I am now the Shepherd’s own.
Redeemed, I daily walk with Him throughout
the tangled pathways strewn with jagged stone.
His power shields me from each blackened doubt.
You, too, can have redemption that I claim:
forgiveness asked in Jesus’ Holy Name.
 

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

A winner at Ozark Creative Writers in 2000

Homemade Christmas Gifts Sound Great–But Are They?

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

     Christmas at our house will be different from those of the past.  Last year, our family, consisting of my husband and me, four grown children, their spouses, and five grandchildren, decided to make handmade gifts.  A whole year seemed like plenty of time for each person to make one gift so we drew names with anticipation.

     I imagined that hammers would pound, saws would buzz and needles would click during the year as we set to work making this Christmas so different we would cherish it as one of our best.

     Now, with only a few days until Christmas, nobody seems to have completed a gift and some haven’t even started.

     At least one member keeps saying, “Where am I going to find time to make something?  Anyway, I always liked shopping for Christmas!”

     Another says he can’t make anything.  That’s what he said when we decided on this plan but nobody believed him.  Suddenly, with no homemade gift in sight, we believe him!  But that’s okay.  We know that the person whose name he drew will somehow receive a gift.

     What about the grandchildren, ages eight to eleven–what can they make?  Or do I underestimate them? Some of them have made key chains for yard sales, so I’m sure they’ll think of something with help from their parents.

     Another member moans, “I can’t think of anything to make.  What would he want? What would he use? Whose idea was this?”

     As for the gift for the person whose name I drew, I have a pattern, I have the materials, I even have the time.  So why am I waiting to start the project? I think I like deadlines and work best under pressure.

     I  always liked wandering through the shops on Christmas Eve with carols playing, bells ringing, the rush of the crowd, people buying gifts for their loved ones.  I liked searching for a final gift, then breathlessly finding it just in time.

     When I’m Christmas shopping, the only thing that disturbs me is that of the less fortunate looking longingly at gifts they can’t afford for their loved ones.

     But even that usually doesn’t dampen my Christmas spirit.  My own parents often had little money for gifts but we always celebrated Christmas. One year, my mother had given birth to my brother on December 18th.  But my daddy saved Christmas Day–he made the meal and tried his hand at homemade candy, the family’s only gift that year, unless we count hearts filled with love and gratitude.

     I trust my family is aware of our love for each other as we recall the Birth of Christ in Bethlehem that First Christmas–the reason why we celebrate.

     And I hope the daughter who drew her dad’s name doesn’t make something to land in a yard sale like the big fish grill she gave her brother one year.  And maybe she won’t tape her package so well that it requires a set of all-steel kitchen knives to open it.  In years past, we have all laughed together as we teased her about keeping the transparent tape companies in business.

     Creative we may not be, but a family we are, and this Christmas promises to be different because one of us had the courage to suggest giving homemade gifts.

     Now, as I reach for my scissors, needle and thread, late one evening, Christmas lights in the little town of Shirley blink clearly, brightly and silently.  I am far from the ringing bells, the sound of Christmas carols, but I am close to a love which surrounds me, just as surely as the angels sang to the shepherds that night long ago.  Can I weave this emotion into my small project, I wonder, as quietly, lovingly, I recall the family member who suggested this different idea for gift giving.

c Copyright, 1996, Freeda Baker Nichols

Published in Van Buren County Democrat, 1996

Merry Christmastime –Haiku 12/12/12

red, blue, yellow, green
strings of lights hang on houses
Merry Christmastime

soft touch of snowflakes
sticking to the windowpane
fireplace all aglow

sparrow in barn loft
roosting on a bale of hay
sheep in the meadow

*shepherds in the field
near the town of Bethlehem
the night Christ was born

our Lord– the reason
why bright lights hang on houses
red, blue, yellow, green

(*Re: King James Bible,  Luke 2: 7 & 8)

c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols