In the morning, I hurried from the covers to the stairs,
down to the tree with presents waiting there.

The sun not yet entered our quiet neighborhood,
only holiday lawn lights lit up where I stood.
My parents still slept, as did my brother and sisters,
while I knew of the visit from that white-bearded mister.

The stockings were flush with grapefruits and gifts,
small, round, and cute, with a few as big as my fists.
Hanging heavy from their hooks, the socks ready to burst-
perhaps why we always open them first!

Beneath the tree, many presents, affixed by ribbons and bows,
to whom they belonged, only Santa Claus knows,
until we read the notes attached to each box,
so I crept close to them now, like a sly hunting fox:

This round one for Mama; this thick one for Pop;
others for them, which looked like a shovel and mop!
Twin-shaped purple gifts, one for Katie and one for Liz.
Probably the same thing, though I’m not sure what it is.

Heavy rectangles for Adam, so surely they’re books,
and more for his series, from their weight and their looks.
Then, for pup, a bone wrapped up with some yarn,
and for the kitten some treats, high in the tree, safe from harm.

For the aunts some presents, too, and for grandma and grandpa,
who come over at ten and spend the day on the sofa.
What was left for me? What presents had I gotten?
Did Santa slip up? Yes, he must have forgotten.

Then I remembered that I’m almost thirty years old
and though there are gifts under the tree for me, the real gold
is when my parents wake up and find me downstairs
on the couch staring at the tree lights and gifts well-prepared,

and the family wakes up, comes over, and calls.
Undoubtedly, a day like this is the best gift of all.
So I take what I open with a heart open for joy,
the same sort of happiness I knew as a boy-

then I sit back and let go of the need for more stuff,
because my life is overflowing, and that’s more than enough.

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