Christmas, 1994

Florida didn’t seem like Christmas to me,
snowless and palmed, the only white
the sugared sand beaches of the Gulf
where I chose shells to fill wire baskets
for my mother and sister

I strung shells with peacock feathers,
crafting dreamcatchers
and shaped wire baskets, made soap
and somehow those things, picked or twisted
by these hands seemed more something
of me given than ever,
the most me
since the gifted handprints in clay

or the sketched silhouettes from second grade
instead of something artisan
or expensive–yes, wrapped

in small pieces, brilliant shards
of spirit

I gave more of me that year–
the year I said I had nothing
to give, I gave presence
inside presents

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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56 Responses to Christmas, 1994

  1. claudia says:

    the presence of someone’s presence, the love that flows into hand-made things.. shards of spirit…yep. def. much more precious than something that you can buy for money..

    • Oh, thank you, Claudia! Great prompt today–had to yank my head out of Mesopotamia (where it wants to stay today) to write this, and I am glad I did. Wonderful holiday prompt.

  2. ManicDdaily says:

    Super nice. Lovely. We used to make absolutely all our presents – I mean, my kids and I. Not all, but most and they still make tons of jams and pickles. But these sound pretty. k.

    • Karin–thanks! I have to say these were the most I enjoyed giving since I was a child. Oh, one year I gave away loads of ground cherry jam & exotic pickles from my garden–that was fun!

  3. presense instead of presents is not abad thing at all…and i imagine will make far more memories that last than something that will be forgot soon enough…did a few christmas’ in florida…its def different…i did like the floating light parade with the boats…and at city center they made it snow and had victorian santa and elves…merry christmas!!!

    • Yes, interesting I remember that Christmas as one of the best. And yes, the Florida Christmas was still Christmas, even sans snow, because the spirit was there. Merry Christmas to you too, Brian.

  4. I love that last stanza ~ our presence in our presents ~

    Wishing you and your family Merry Christmas ~

  5. dragyonfly says:

    Presence is always preferable to presents. I love hand made gifts but rarely give them. Your lovely piece is a present…thanks…

  6. ruleofstupid says:

    Yeah, balls to that – Your dream catchers in the return post – where’s my feckin XBox!

    Um… I liked, though I found I had to read:
    by these hands seemed more something of me given
    than ever, the most me
    since the gifted handprints in clay
    Several times to get the run of it – it could be just me. but is there a way to make the tense shifts and sentence flow a little more guided?

    by these hands seemed more something
    of me given than ever,
    the most me
    since the gifted handprints in clay

    Maybe? Just a thought 😉 Now get down the shops and buy me some shit!

  7. Sometimes the best present we can possibly give is the give of giving ourselves in the love with which we do give. This is beautiful.
    I cannot imagine a Christmas with No cold and or …snow.

  8. hypercryptical says:

    “I gave more of me that year–
    the year I said I had nothing
    to give, I gave presence
    inside presents”

    You surely did! A lovely write Susan.

    Have a wonderful Christmas.

    Anna :o[

  9. I remember one Christmas where we all just happened to make gifts for each other–it wasn’t planned –it just happened–your piece reminded me of that—such a lovely write Susan–Happy Holidays to you!

    • oh, Audrey, thanks for your comment! I love the time and energy it takes when someone gives you a made gift. Makes it all the more special. Thanks for liking this and merry Christmas to you.

  10. mobius faith says:

    Forget the “bling” Like the old Uncle Sam poster says, “I want you!” Because when we give ourselves and are fully present to those around us – that’s the best gift we can give.

    In fact you just inspired me….

  11. Pingback: immaterial « mobius faith imaging

  12. Miriam E. says:

    Susan, this is so beautiful. handmade presents are the best… they say so much more than the ‘clutter’ we buy.
    i loved this… just wonderful.

  13. Mary says:

    Susan, i enjoyed this poem very much. And I do think it is true that often when a person has the least monetarily they give the most special presents, as there is thought and love inside even the ‘simplest treasure,’ and the presentation is, as you said, filled with PRESENCE. Do have a merry Christmas.

  14. I love this! The truth within is one each of us should grab hold of and never release. For my closest friends, I always create. You have nudged me toward doing this for all.

  15. Gorgeous. The description and the feelings described. I like that this is Christmas giving from a different angle.

  16. What a a wonderful piece, from a lovely soul.

  17. nelle says:

    Nice… one does not need snow and cold to make a memorable Christmas.

  18. dani says:

    wonderful gifts! wonderful words!

    Merry Christmas!

  19. Sadly the only time I remember making gifts was when I was younger and those times have long past, nice sentiment in this Susan. 🙂
    Wishing you a very merry christmas to you and yours.

  20. annotating60 says:

    Good poem Susan, very thight especially the ending.>KB

  21. kaykuala says:

    The best gift ever, to come visiting! One’s presence is more than any present that money can buy! Merry Christmas to you Susan!


  22. Aw ‘presence inside presents’ how clever ~ lovely poetry, Susan. Seasons Greetings. 🙂

  23. Love handmade Christmas presents… we had one year where everyone had to make each other gifts, it was the best and funniest Christmas ever…we’ve vowed to do it next year…the request came to late for this one… Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  24. Sabio Lantz says:

    ah, the very best gift — when not crowded out by a real Christmas

  25. Kelvin S.M. says:

    ..i gave presence inside presents…ah yes… a money-deaf gift, ain’t it…? thank you for the poem…

    Merry Christmas to you and family…


  26. jasmine calyx says:

    This is a wonderful poem. I love this part:

    “and somehow those things, picked or twisted
    by these hands seemed more something
    of me given than ever”

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