- Nov. 4 General Election endorsements: Retain County Clerk Margie Mullins
- Nov. 4 General Election endorsements: Re-elect Jesse White
- Nov. 4 General Election endorsements: Elect Sheila Simon as state comptroller
- Brad Roos to step down as Zion Development executive director
- Smash your pumpkin at Rockford’s Discovery Center Nov. 2
- Control the candy without limiting the Halloween fun
- RHS Ambassadors host Halloween party for hospitalized children
- Beware of the energy-sucking vampires in your home, ComEd warns
- Rockford Park District golf season begins to wrap up
- Two locals to be honored among state’s top college students
Literary Hook: A poem filled with Christmas memories
By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
For men and women “of a certain age,” Christmas comes packed with memories. Sometimes, the season is so “thick” that the urge to simplify takes over.
Here is a poem that celebrates simplifying Christmas. Sometimes, it takes a conscious intention to simplify Christmas, but the results can yield less stress and a refreshing approach to the holidays that leaves you times for joy and serenity.
You walk down the cold basement stairs,
“Tis the season to be jolly” on your mind.
When you open the cool closet doors,
familiar musty shelves of boxes,
crates of memories and junk sift together
like the butter cookies you no longer eat.
Scrawled on the crumbling cardboard:
Textbooks. Hawaii. Wedding. Will.
Christmas. Christmas. Christmas.
Dusty, plastic holly cascades from one.
A too-cute Santa winks from another
(his good eye stolen by the cat).
Forty years of grab bags, office parties:
so many well-intentioned little gifts.
So bless the crafto-maniacs who slide
into your life, who leave the tacky ornaments
you finally have the courage to throw away.
Yes, bless them. But not this year.
No. Today you’ll choose just one,
perhaps a small, crystal manger scene
close the chilly doors with a snap,
and scurry up the stairs. You might place it
nestled among four Advent candles
on the white lace of an old dining room table.
When you turn on white lights of the chandelier,
prisms sparkle. Stars on the ceiling!
“Silent Night” you might be humming,
lighting candles in the warm room,
or maybe another song will come to you:
“Tis a gift to be simple, a gift to be free.”
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet.
From the Dec. 21-27, 2011, issue