This camp-out we invented to help a rag-tag flock of teens forget they cannot be home and erase all of the canned Christmas reminders on every tube and every corner that is like salt in these wounds of broken families. We wanted to soften the ache for estranged, absent and abusive parents.
We will make our own simple ceremony, simple gifts to each child. We hope to draw them into this day of happiness; let them discover the back door to a missed childhood.
We found a small spruce last night growing close to the tents, christened it “our Christmas tree, ” placed a creche in the branches near the top with strings of popcorn and berries for the birds. Tonight we will hang their stockings there, stuffed with pecans and oranges, sweet morsels of chocolate and jokes on bright paper.
A present waiting to be unwrapped,
This Christmas Eve morn
Looks like any other winter day of gray.
I get up to kindle the morning camp fire.
The sun is folded below the horizon
Laying banked by an ash-colored cold front.
Then rising, it burns its cloud blankets for warmth,
Smoldering copper, flaming crimson,
As saved embers glow brightly,
When dawn breathes upon them.
Now snowflakes large as angel down
Begin to fall,
Glistening the pine boughs.