Tag Archives: Christmas

This Changes Everything ~ A Cento Poem


Empty manger perfect stranger, about to be born, into darkness sadness
Des’prate madness, creation is so torn, we were so lost on earth
Warm hay cold sweat, a mother not yet, praying God-speed the dawn
She looks to her man, holding her hand, they wonder how long
They did not find a palace, just a humble village home and searching for a King
Lowly and small, the weakest of all, unlikeliest hero wrapped in His mother’s shawl
But finding a Child, no crown, no throne, still they bowed down
Expectation turned to mystery
For nothing was like anything they’d dreamed
It’s still a mystery to me
That the Hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reachin’ in the night
Were the very hands that measure the sky
Still a mystery to me
How His infant eyes had seen the dawn of time
How His ears had heard an angel symphony
Just a Child, is this who we’ve waited for
‘Cause how many kings stepped down from their thrones
How many lords have abandoned their homes
How many greats have become the least for me
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me
That the King would come for us, this changes everything
A Baby born to save, to save the souls of man
Born that we may have life
You were born that we may have life
A throne in a manger, a cross in a cradle
The hidden revealing this glorious plan
Of the child who would suffer, the child who would conquer
The sin of every woman, the sin of every man
And the world didn’t know, mercy was meek and so mild
And the world didn’t know, that truth was as pure as a child
And the world didn’t know, redemption was sweet and so strong
And the world didn’t know, salvation was writing a song
That the King would come for us, this changes everything


The Lamb

The stench of urine enveloped the room,

barely a room at that.

No lemon-smelling Lysol to be found here

No pretty nurses in white uniforms to be found here

No blue latex gloves to be found here

A stubborn donkey to be found here

A diseased rat to be found here

A restless lamb to be found here

And the Lamb of Calvary to be found here

The Lamb of God lay beside a lamb of the peasant

The Good Shepherd was the awe of the shepherds of the fields

This helpless infant would soon render

the rage of Hell helpless

at the cross

This helpless infant would soon render

the sins of mine washed away

at the cross

This helpless infant would soon render

the division between man and God no more

at the cross

This helpless infant rendered

the world changed

at the manger

Here was the moment where the Lamb of God

and the Good Shepherd met

Here was the moment where unto us a child is born

and death is defeated

Here was the moment where the Old Covenant is fulfilled

and the New Covenant is made


Where, O Death, is your victory?

“For to us a child is born,

   to us a son is given,

   and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

   there will be no end.”

Isaiah 9:6-7




biblevector via Foter.com / CC BY


A Modern Day Twas the Night Before Christmas

A twist on an old Christmas tradition with no offense intended.

It was the night before ‘gimme day’, when all through the house
Not a Windows Surface was stirring, not even a Barbie I Can Be Dollhouse;
The Hallmark synthetic stockings were placed on the kitchen table with not much care,
In hopes that presents from Walmart Lay-a-way soon would be there;
The rug rats were snoozing from their sugar-high in their beds;
While visions of X-boxes fought in their heads;
And Mom just finished presents all  in a wrap,
Snuggling in our king sized Tempur-Pedic for a short winter’s nap,
When out on the subdivision street there arose such a clatter,
I stretched and wobbled from my bed to see what was the matter.
In no way did I remind myself of DC’s The Flash,
I lazily open the blinds and got the wife’s backlash.
The moon on the small patch of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a reflection of midday to objects below,
When what to my sleep deprived eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a senior citizen so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than a Corvette his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the patio! to the top of the garden wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As drones with a newbie learning controller fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of electronics, and Santa too—
And then, as fast as I can Google, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I was thinking maybe Will Ferrell’s Elf was right, thoughts all buzzing around,
Down the chimney a red and white suited man came with a bound.
He was dressed all in synthetic fabric, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
An overflowing of Disney Frozen dolls and Legos he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a homeless person just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like Cover Girl lip gloss, his nose like a cherry!
His little mouth was drawn up like he had a bad cup of joe,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a E-Cigarette  he held tight in his teeth,
And the vapor, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I whipped out my iPhone 6 when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had no reason to get out my baseball bat or bullets of  lead;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings and more under the tree; then turned with a jerk,
And smiled like he won the retirement home Bingos,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew with no need of diesel.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

cuellar via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Uncle Jerry’s


Slushy, slushy snow sticks to my black dress boots

I walk in the footprints of the persons who have arrived before me

Little elementary boys running ahead of mothers carrying casseroles.

Puffy coats bundle up elderly ladies shuffle in from the cold

Christmas pins and red and green sweaters are like tickets to enter

The soft glow of lamps and Christmas tree lights reflect out onto the shoveled snow

I stomp off the cold fairy dust of winter onto the rugs and shrug off my coat

I drop off my coat to the jacket day care on one of the many wooden furniture made with love and care

Already hearing the laughing bellowing out from the basement

A smile adorns my face as I take the steep steps slowly down

Hugs and ‘look at how have you grown’ are pasted around

Packed together like Santa’s elves in the workshop in mid December we gather

Sisters, cousins, nieces chit chat in their respected corners

Brothers, uncles, nephews are heard hearty laughing

Kids are running around and jumping on the spare bed

Another family enters and everyone calls out again in various ‘how you’ve been?’

The host of tonight’s festivities gives a great whistle and asks one of the men to lead us in prayer

Heads bow and we breath as one focusing on the prayer that is quietly spoken into the big, big room


A call out to relatives who are elderly or with small children to go first

A line soon begins to form and snakes through the spare bedroom and out into the open room with boisterous conversations with their neighbor

My family is not a quiet family

I tag along with my Grandma and ask what is good to eat

My plate full I find a place to squeeze into a seat at the table to listen to the hilarious stories to be shared

Famous casseroles and pies melt in my tummy

Chuckles and jolly fun echos across the walls

It feels like the house is going to explode from how much love and cheer is packed into this home

My sister and I get a tap on the shoulder just like we knew we would every year at this time

My great uncle asks us to pass out the gourmet chocolates he buys for each family

A box of wrapped chocolate is past out with a smile and ‘thank you’ in return

The minute hand on the clock above the doorway seems to spin by too fast

Another tradition is soon to follow as another whistle is let out

Children and parents circle around a closet with a sheet across it

A fishing pole is handed over with a clamp on where the hook is suppose to be

The time old tradition of ‘fishing’ for presents on Christmas Eve at my great uncle Jerry’s

Toddlers are first and their mothers have to help them ‘reel it in’

They tear off the Christmas wrapping paper and find match-box cars or dolls

The ages creep up to the oldest which me and my sister and few cousins are of

Uncle Jerry asks who is next and his wife says and he answers back ‘She’s still doing this?’ and with a laugh ‘You can still get presents ’til you have kids.’

To me it’s more about the tradition and the memories than getting the present

I go out and show my grandparents what I got and talk for a little bit

Then comes my favorite part

This is what makes Christmas Eve my favorite holiday

This is what makes Christmas, Christmas

Another whistle is rung out and the voices become quiet after the dull roar it was a few moments ago

I lay in my mother’s lap on the floor next to my grandma’s chair

And my grandma begins to read

She reads why we are all gathered here

She reads why we are all saved

She reads why we are all so sure in the future

She reads what her father and mother instilled in their seven children

She reads the Bible

She reads Luke chapter two

She reads of a child’s birth that is unlike any other

And for those few minutes she becomes more than my grandma reading verses that we all know

She becomes someone who is leading by example of my Lord and savior’s thoughts of a Christian

Tears fill my eyes

Just soft quiet tears

I don’t brush them away because I know everyone else has them

And as the story finishes for the night, there is a moment of silence hushed over the families

Then the next part of the tradition begins,

My uncle begins to say, ‘This book has been in our family for a hundred years. It is torn and tattered, but the words still remain the same. This book was given to my father in 1915.’

And my great uncle begins to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

Even if I was to read it now, I would still hear his voice reading it to me

‘Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.’

And all the relatives who remember the recently passed away lively Aunt, in her honor act like they are ‘throwing up’ the sash

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Soon families begin to leave because the readings of the old, old books are what makes Christmas, Christmas and now are on to the other side of the family’s relatives

My family and I included

After good-byes and setting up the next monthly get-to-together we grab our dish to pass and hike up the steep stairs once more

I put back on my boots that now are in a puddle of melted fairy dust, snow

Wind rushes in, chilling the warm mud room as I open the door

I walk in the footsteps of persons who have gone out before

Slushy, slushy snow sticks to my black dress boots

I quietly say to myself, “This is what makes Christmas, Christmas.”



Grandpa Bedel 1

Picture of my Great Grandpa before I was born who used to be the host of the gathering!

It is Coming

It is coming.

It is coming and there is nothing I can do to stop it

Winter is coming.

I feel it’s icy finger tips reach inside my blanket at night.

Winter’s breath blowing harder making it harder and harder to eat lunch outside.

Men’s thoughts turn from swimming pools to snow fences.

Winter brings goosebumps making the trees loose their leaves.

At first they change color

but slowly they give up the ghost

and turn brown and wither away

Into long sleeves and sweaters.

My beloved flip-flops are soon to flip no more

and only have tennis shoes quietly roam.

Swarms of birds practice flying in my fields.

Pansies shrink and the last attempt at color,

Church Ladies put out Mums.

Snow has not fallen yet

but I can see it in Winter’s eye.

People mindlessly start humming Christmas tunes.

Ugly sweaters replace swim suits on store racks.

My fingers now have an cool feel chronically following them.

I feel winter in the air

and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

I stir my hot chocolate

and pull my worn-out blanket tighter.