“the bell poem”

red ribbon
an evergreen spruce
and multicolor blinks
of lights
in the dark.

a quiet
white snow
outside the window.

hot chocolate
sugar cookies
and carrots
by the fireplace
on the other side.

for this
is not the same

i still
that when
the silver bells
in the night
i will

a lot
is different
this year
but the
holiday spirit
will always
be in our hearts
for next year
and every year
that is
to come.

will all
be together
again soon.

Photo by Stéphane Juban on Unsplash

Merry Christmas everyone! Keep the hope ❤

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “the bell poem” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Vignette #36 “This Christmas”

Christmas won’t be the same this year.

The thought is visible in the smaller tree in her living room. There was a time when the pine tree had stood ten feet high adorned with garland and popcorn trimmed all around its edges. Ornaments of all sizes and shapes would be strung out around its branches. The lights would change from pure white to multicolored and back in blinks of time. Now her tree is only 5 feet. There is no garland. There are no lights. Just one single ornament she found lying in an old drawer, by chance, to put on.

There are no presents under the tree. In random and rushed trips to the post office everything had been mailed weeks ago. She still isn’t sure if some of the presents reached their recipients. She hopes they did. The only thing left under the tree now is a snow white cat, sleeping soundly.

There is no music playing this Christmas Eve. The house is quiet, so quiet that even a mouse stirring would jar her enough to make her jump. There is nothing baking in the oven. Only take out containers in the kitchen garbage.

She nurses her second cup of egg nog. It’s really more rum than cream but there is no one around to argue with her. No uncles telling her jokes. No aunts wrapping her in warm hugs. No cousins to jump around and make fools of themselves with. No brother to even tease and laugh with like every other year past.

Christmas won’t be the same this year. She takes another sip of her drink.

But there is still hope, she tells herself as she looks at the empty fireplace. A year from now she will buy a fifteen foot tree, even if it doesn’t fit in her house, and she’ll throw every string of light she owns around its edges. Not an inch of pine will be left uncovered as she’ll drag the ornaments down from the attic by herself if she has to. All year she’ll save up and use wily ways to figure out what everyone on her list wants as a gift. That fifteen foot tree will be too small to hold everything she’ll find. The music will be as loud and roaring as the fireplace, and the whole house will smell of hints of garlic, drops of lemon and eventually sugar cookies.

She puts down her drink.

Good things are worth waiting for. Next year, she knows, will be the most magical Christmas yet.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “This Christmas” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Living Life #19 “Eggnog”

(a collection of independent vignettes)

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

She could see the bottom of the glass once again. Twirling it in her hand, the bare remnants of froth shifted from one side to the other. It looked like the melted snow outside, when in reality it was the dregs of a third glass of eggnog.

“Poor me.” she laughed. Unsteady and a little sick, the woman rose from the armchair by the dying fire. Its crackling was almost silent since it was now midnight. First a chair and then the table got in her path but through determination and reckless luck she made her way back to the counter where the punch bowl was waiting.

One ladle, two ladles, and another half. Now her glass was full once again.

Even though she was not.

“Merry Christmas to me.” she breathed, and downed the fourth glass. Maybe this time it would fill her up.

Living Life # 18 “Decorating The Tree”

( a collection of independent vignettes)

The tree was taller than she was. Green as the forest in summer beyond her backyard and as prickly as the thorns on the dead bouquet in the vase on the counter. Tooth and nail it dragged through the back door leaving a trail of needles like gingerbread cookie crumbs right to the far corner of the living room. It did not come easy, but she didn’t back down. Not even as she had to hoist it into the stand with only minimal help from the wall.

A stepladder was necessary for the lights, and even though there was no one there to help she took her time. The stool danced around the wood floor and the lights were placed string by string until it was her feet waltzing around the ground instead. The cord was gently plugged in and then the house seemed a little brighter, the fir now lit up like a star. The tree warmed up to her a bit then. But only just a bit.

The red beads were next, and then the gold tinsel. The tree certainly wasn’t going to bend for her but she didn’t need it too. She rose to meet it again and again, and swayed around and around. The fire in the background crackled and snarled but it was only empty threats. The light emanating from the small space was too golden and too warming to be anything but a sarcastic friend. Being inside, the tree realized, was a lot different than being outside. A little more snug and a little less lonely.

It paid no mind to the silver bells she planted along its branches, and the red ornaments felt as light as air as if they were barely there. The rest that were piled on were mismatched and worn. A little blue sled with the year 1982 scribbled on the bottom, a fading snowman with two buttons missing, eight bronze deer then four gold ones and a rocking horse no bigger than her palm. Before long all the spaces were filled and instead of feeling weighted and tired the tree noticed the perk to its branches in the mirror across the room. Maybe it should have been a little nicer to her on the way in. She had plucked it out of the solitude of the harsh winter wind, gifted it a steady stream of water and shelter, then given it decorations to cloth and adorn it. The tree liked her a bit more than it had before, making its emotions swell now to twice what they had been.

A drop of sweat like a melted snowflake slid down her temple, and the tree could see she was tired. She absently moved to put her hand down on the end table nearby and the tree wanted to warn her but it had no mouth to speak.

When the glass shattered, it was loud. The wit of the fire was drowned, and the glow of white lights on the tree’s branches left her eyes. Quietly, the young woman bent down and as she kneeled careful of the broken bits, she looked much smaller than she had when she originally hauled the tree in. More like a girl, left alone in a house, with a few modest lights and threadbare ornaments that really didn’t matter much if one thought about it, unless they were reflected in her eyes.

The picture was face up on the floor, but in the shadow of where the lights couldn’t reach. Piece by piece and sliver by sliver she picked the edges up, cupping her hand to her chest. The picture, still in the frame, was last. Another tiny snowflake ran down her cheek, but the tree knew there were was no sky above their heads. She took a deep breath and in the next moment she rose and walked away. A minute passed, and then two. The tree wondered if maybe it should have at least tried to warn her, though it had no means to speak words. But then, she came back. And she wasn’t alone.

There was petite angel cupped in her hands where the glass had just been.

The stool made its return, and with the fire cackling quietly in the background, she rose one step then another. Even then though she could barely reach the top. An inch more of height and everything would have been okay. She didn’t have that inch though, so the tree gave her the inch instead.

With all its might it buckled its trunk and the young woman stretched her toes until finally then the angel was set on top. Blonde hair, white gown, a happy mouth and golden wings graced the room.

The young woman stepped down from the stool, and that’s when tree liked her most of all with the lights in her eyes, the fir needles in her hair and the angel in her smile.