Our Christmas Traditions

T’was the night before Christmas
In Lizzy and Ot’s house,
The only creature not stirring
Was likely the mouse!

For everyone knew
In the house on the creek,
That Santa was coming,
They’d been waiting for weeks!

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The kids had stopped fighting
Because Santa might see,
Lizzy’d baked lots of treats
And the star topped the tree.

Christmas happened the same
In the house every year,
The kids knew what was coming
And each one was all ears.

Any moment they knew
Ot’s head would tip high,
And he’d say he heard sleigh bells
And the kiddies would fly!

Down the hall to their rooms
And the doors would all close,
They huddled on beds
But one sound and they froze.

For out in the living room
Footsteps were falling
And a loud HO HO HO
Was merrily calling!

And then there was silence.
Not one sound could they hear.
Then Ot’s voice would call out
“All right kids – coast is clear!”

Right there in the living room
Tucked all ‘round the tree,
Were gifts piled on gifts
And their eyes filled with glee.

But no rush to the tree
Was ever made in this house,
The kids gathered ‘round Ot
Silent as a church mouse.

Ot picked up the black book,
Cleared his throat and would start
To tell an old story
They knew mostly by heart.

There was Joseph and Mary,
And the usual cast,
Some shepherds and angels
And a baby at last!

A baby named Jesus
God’s gift and the reason
For the peace and the joy
And the whole Christmas season.

With the story once more
Settled deep in each heart,
Ot would turn to the tree
And the gift giving would start.

In a flurry of paper
Of ribbons and bows,
The gifts were exchanged,
The night drew to a close.

But Christmas Eve hadn’t finished,
There was one more delight,
For out on the porch
Singing rose in the night.

Lizzy opened the door
And out in the snow
Were some Mennonite carollers
With their eyes all aglow!

Singing in harmony
Songs new and old,
Their gift to their neighbours,
Worth much more than gold.

And then it was over,
The kids hustled to bed,
Ot and Lizzy collapsed
With their hands on their heads.

For tomorrow was Christmas
The house would be brimming
With family and grandkids
There for turkey and trimmings.

And so it continued
Much the same o’er the years,
Our family Christmases
With much laughter and few tears.

As I sit and reflect
On the gifts that we’d got,
The greatest of these
Came from Lizzy and Ot.

We all can remember
Some toys from the past,
Walking dolls and race tracks,
But not a one that would last.

The gifts that did last
Didn’t come wrapped with bows,
They were gifts of the heart
As each one of us knows.

Of course Lizzy and Ot
Taught their children to share,
So please know each gift here
Has been wrapped with great care.

There’s gifts here beyond
What your eyes can behold,
There’s treasures worth more
Than even silver or gold.

There’s faith, hope and joy,
These won’t break or rust.
There’s tradition and love,
There’s peace and there’s trust.

The gifts of our childhood,
The best that we’ve got,
We offer to our family
With thanks to Lizzy and Ot!

Merry Christmas everyone!

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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