Christmas Past and Present

I found a series of writing prompt responses the other day, probably from early high school, lovingly typed on a very large typewriter. I vaguely remember getting a magazine which offered writing prompts or maybe I found a "Learn How to Write" book at the library.

Relevant to the season was "Describe a street at Christmas:"

      Bright lights line the streets. Sleighbells jingle, hanging from a horse drawn carriage. The horses wear a thin blanket of snow. The driver huddles under his warmest coat.  Little girls in velvet dresses with hands tucked in white muffs flash smiles. The children's red noses clash with the white surroundings. Billows of white breath rise in the chilled air. The sweet smell of baking cookies fills me with warmth, and circles of smoke from Papa's pipe wrap me in comfort.

I recognized the staccato poetry I often fall into without thinking and my propensity to respond very literally to the request: describe. I must have been quite the romantic, opting to describe what could only exist in a Thomas Kincaid painting.  

Well, I ain't romantic anymore.
Ooh, you know that brown stripe will
be chocolate flavored....yum!
(Image by Pam Roth via

Describe a street at Christmas (2013 version): 
Everyone is in such a hurry they are missing the whole thing.
Slam on the brakes.
Exit the Christmas contagion stricken highway
To eat this entire candy cane,
Even if it takes an hour.

Okay, I made the mistake of entering a store to buy snow boots yesterday, and I'm still disgruntled.  But I also had an eye-opening experience watching my 3-year-old eat an entire candy cane. I honestly forgot they were for eating. And even if you did eat them, you only sucked on them until they got thinner, right?  But no, that little candy loving cherub made me realize candy canes are magical when you need life to slow down so you don't miss the whole thing. 

Merry Christmas! 
Now go eat a candy cane, or if you're inspired, add a comment with your description of a street at Christmas.


  1. My prompt:
    "People walk through the mall with ten bags of goodies per person. Few acknowledge others. Where has the Spirit gone? Christmas isn't the same without it. Christmas isn't gifts. It's love. It's friendliness. Love isn't buying gifts, unless if for someone who can't get them for themselves. Friendliness isn't just saying 'hello!' Christmas is family gatherings of tradition, not just passing around the presents. So, give, not get, but don't give gifts for Christmas - give love, friendliness, and you."

  2. Oh, I was out on the 23rd, too -- and was dumbfounded by all the hostility in the air. I bid a hasty retreat for my car. I was either cowardly or wise; I'm still not sure which.

    Here's hoping your Christmas was very merry, my friend!

    1. Well, to be honest my Christmas Eve was spent with the Porcelain King. Curse you tiny toilet! But even with that I was full of the joy and peace on Christmas Day that can only come when the stomach flu is over!

  3. The stores were a nightmare in the days leading up to Christmas. I was done shopping for items and only left with food shopping; that alone was enough to take the curl out of my hair. BUT.... I loved this post and your candy cane story prompted me to write about Christmas and Candy Canes. Lauri- you inspired the first blog post I've written in months! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

    1. I loved your post. Your words are always so delicious. Merry Christmas!


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