Black & White Photograph c. 1955
by Candace Turner

8:30 bedtime
Hands washed; Teeth brushed
Jammies on
Three little girls crawl under the covers
Mom and Dad will be there
in a few minutes
for good night kisses

Girls, don’t forget
Not a present will be opened until you sing
Happy Birthday to the baby Jesus
Being the oldest
I spoke for us three …
If it’s Jesus’ birthday
why do we get  presents
and not He?
It just doesn’t make sense to me

No more silly questions
Santa’s on his way
Listen and you might hear his sleigh

Lights out; door closed
We pretend to sleep
Shhh, I warn not a peep
My idea whispered into two little ears
Christmas stockings don’t count
They’re not under the tree
In the morning, just follow me

We drift off to sleep
Until the smallest trickle of light
creeps through the curtains
Time to go downstairs
of this we are certain

Stockings pulled from the mantle
without care
Three little girls forget the quiet rule
Giggles and oooh aww’s float through the air

Good Morning girls said a voice from above
Mom in her worn chenille robe
Dad in his underwear
Smiled down at us as they stand on the stairs

Dad fumbles with film
As we rush to the den
Three little angels
Hands clasped in prayer
Kneel down to sing Happy Birthday
to the tiny babe in the creche
The true meaning of Christmas attempts
To enter the air


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