Catharsis Christmas

All households have traditions, even if they’re formed out of desperation—
like having Christmas dinner at IHOP; the kids love it/don’t know any better.
In our household we painted wooden ornaments, listened to holiday mixed tapes.
One year we made a turkey and brought it to a stranger in a cramped trailer.
It was our way of returning favors, for things like the year the fire department
checked our family’s name off a list, filled our entire living room with presents.
People sometimes forget how hard it is to receive. Even if the clothes fit perfect,
we’re not sure they belong to us. We wear something else along with new clothes.
We knew it was the firefighters who filled our living room, not Santa, never Santa.
My mother had taught us to believe in goodness and miracles, but he wasn’t one.
I once played Gabriel for a Nativity play. I practiced my one line hundreds of times.
I spoke of “great joy” while closing my eyes. I let joy fill me and steam from my ears.
Angels come in all forms. They send messages. They whisper joy. They bring death.
Though now, I don’t have much use for angels, I still see things in light and darkness.
Oftentimes, thankfully, there’s a concept that sheds snow white, black coal duality.
It’s not happy or sad. There’s no name for it. Maybe if Christmas was like catharsis.

2 thoughts on “Catharsis Christmas

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