A Child’s Christmas in Hawai’i

Say, 65 years ago this morning
I would have been awake
much earlier than sunrise,
earlier than that time when worms
begin to quiver in fear of rising birds,
and most amazingly,
earlier than my parents.
It was the only day of the year
when I would jump out of bed
with the kind of enthusiasm exhibited
by skydivers leaping from a plane,
bounding from my bedroom
breathless in anticipation of finding
what Santa had brought good, little me.

At first I’d be quiet as a stirring mouse,
but burning with eagerness to tear into gifts,
my noise level would rise to the point
where my parents were forced from sleep,
stumbling in the still pitch-black
with a sluggishness never matching
my boisterous level of joy,
my father slumped unshaven and hair mussed,
nodding off in his rocking chair,
while my bleary-eyed mother would hold me back
from frenzied ripping through bows and wrapping paper
as she shuffled about in her unseasonal pink bunny slippers
brewing the ritual pot of coffee
that would boost them to the level
of my Christmas celebrational consciousness.

‘Twas the most important morning of any day in the year,
the one on which I was more thankful for the baby Jesus
than on any Sunday worship service morning, hands down.
Hallelujah for that jolly old soul from the North Pole,
Christ’s preeminent purveyor of presents
Who had come again to deliver me
bikes and toy guns.

Amen again to that most blessed of days,
say, 65 years ago this morning,
and every other holy Christmas morning
of my still-believing youth.

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