Grandparents circle the tree
Old-fashioned hot bulbs
Grandpa curses, what’s interrupting the circuit?
Grandma says he’s some Christian….

I turn on the TV for relief
Monday night, Mom has to work,
Christmas Eve or no Christmas Eve
Two sitcoms and the Lucy Desi Comedy hour
Then she’ll be home

Grandpa says lights first, then tinsel
Grandma says tinsel, then lights
Evidence is presented on both sides
including job histories and educational credentials
finally then turn to me
the four-year-old for a verdict
I side with Grandpa and Grandma sulks for hours

A new show is on, Andy Griffith
I love it – it’s a small town like ours and Opie is my age
And he has a single parent, too!
But the more I watch the madder I get
Andy lets Opie visit him at work and asks what’s bothering him
They talk about Opie’s feelings for the whole show
until everything is solved

We open an old suitcase of ornaments
It smells like dust and pine needles
I love the manger scene, glittery snow on the stable roof
Mom said it was wrong. Bethlehem didn’t’ have snow
Our ornaments are old, fragile, German
I ask if we can save the blue one
For Mom to hang when she gets home
But they say she’ll be tired
and it’s best to get things done

Now it’s ten
Grandpa leaves to pick up Mom at work
The tree is finished, Grandma is asleep in her chair
I watch Lucy and Desi but they aren’t funny
They’re better in the morning, in re-runs
Now they look old and tired
Grandma wakes up for a minute and looks at me
“Why can’t you comb your hair?”

Suddenly the door opens
Her red coat smells like perfume and snow
She pins a Christmas corsage on my pajamas
I show her where we hung the blue ornament

Dec. 24th, the day Dad died
We do the best we can