The Christmas Flame


This poem was written by the son of a friend:

The Christmas Flame

The man slumps on the ground, back against the wall

ignored and shunned,

pleading for change,

just another few cents for a steaming coffee,

just another day on the streets.

Where is his Christmas?

She says goodbye and puts down the phone…

A cheap artificial tree glows in the darkness.

She sits on the couch, holding back tears,

missing loved ones that are too far away,

lonely in her new and strange home.

Where is her Christmas?

“Do you think Santa remembered us?” the little boy asks his older brother

as they huddle together in the early morning.

“I dunno…” “He has to come this year, he just has to.” “Just don’t get your hopes up,” is the grim reply.

Where is their Christmas?

Not every Christmas morning is

full of joyful family memories,

a tree laden with gifts,

and a table overflowing with food.

When you strip away the presents,

the feast, the time with family and friends,

is there anything left? Does Christmas exist for the poor, the lonely and sick? Is there any meaning for those who don’t

fit into the holiday Christmas commercial?

Christmas is more than a materialistic holiday,

it is a feeling that wells up deep inside us each

December.  We not only hear the carols

proclaiming peace on earth and goodwill among men;

at Christmas we come closest to believing in such creeds,

and also we feel drawn to act on them.

A fast food manager might feel compelled to offer a free meal to a panhandler,

a friend with no family to celebrate Christmas with might be remembered and

invited to join another gathering,

a neighbour might bring gifts for two children who might otherwise receive none.

The spirit of Christmas is kept alive and passed on

from person to person like the spreading of

a flame from candle to candle at a church service…

the compassion and warmth in one person’s heart

lights up the barren and depleted heart of another,

and suddenly someone who is living in the shadows

receives a glowing beacon that not only

dissipates their darkness, but is now

available to be given to another soul in need,

in a relay race that spans the entire world.

Does the spirit of Christmas

reach everyone? Does the flame get passed to each and every

darkened wick? Is everyone remembered at Christmas time? No.  There will be some who are not reached,

some who spend the season in sadness and despair.

But as long as the Christmas flame continues

to light up burdened and impoverished hearts and spirits,

Christmas will go on and Christmas will continue to

fulfill its purpose.

Just as the birth of a small child brought hope to a

dark world years ago,

Christmas will continue to send rays of light

to the shadows of our world,

those living in darkness will

once again feel part of the human race, remembered and  cherished,

and the Christmas flame will live on.

DR December, 2014


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