Sweet Stars of Christmas: Haibun

Monday Morning Musings:

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

–Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


On Christmas, I see the past, present, and future appear. Perhaps not as actual ghosts, but as memories, experiences, and wishes. As we decorate Christmas cookies, I think of all the times I did this with our daughters. My husband declares this is the first time he has ever frosted the cookies. Perhaps it’s true. My sugar cookies have stars with five points and stars with six points. They’re all equally sweet and delicious. The Hanukkah candles and the Christmas lights both glow in the winter darkness, symbolizing miracles and bringing hope. This year, I give one daughter Hanukkah presents with a Hello Kitty! Christmas card on Christmas Eve day, when we gather with my niece and her family. In the background, Christmas songs written by Jewish men softly play. We sit around a table in a room decorated for Christmas and discuss ancestors in Belarus and Ukraine, people who never celebrated this holiday.

How did they get here, my niece asks? How did they have the means to leave? When she was a girl, my father’s mother hid in a barn during a pogrom. Somehow, they—some of them–found the means to leave, and to come to a country where they were not persecuted for their religious beliefs and culture. Their ghosts appear briefly and stand around us. Perhaps they would not approve of these goyische celebrations, but I hope they’d sense the love. Here and now we eat and laugh together, even as we miss those no longer with us. We will miss our daughters on Christmas, and I will miss being awakened by hearing them sing “Christmas Time is Here” early in morning. But now on Christmas Eve, my husband and I drink mulled wine and watch It’s a Wonderful Life, and I think yes, it is.


ancient stars shimmer,

ghost light of winter’s hope

this scintillation

I’m linking this Monday Morning Musings to Frank Tassone’s Christmas Haiku challenge.

Wishing all of you a joyous holiday season filled with peace, hope, love, and laughter!


30 thoughts on “Sweet Stars of Christmas: Haibun

  1. I really liked this pretty, yummy package you wrote for Monday’s Musings, Merril. You, your husband and daughters seem so fun and carefree.
    I like how you intertwine your holidays celebration. I also know that the best songs are written during the period of time my parents listened to songs by Irving Berlin, Jay Livingstone and Sammy Kahn.
    I had a few days of lazy reading my post comments and hardly wanting to leave my youngest daughter’s highrise apartment in Dublin, Ohio. It was so nice to not be needed for anything! Pajamas for almost a day and a half. . . No cookies, but sweetened oatmeal with fruits added.
    Those stars look great!
    We went out to Saffron to pick up take-out and ate for Christmas dinner and “day after” breakfast. I called dentist and am on “stand by” in case of cancellations.
    I was hoping to have a temporary crown as we are going to take grandies to see “Ferdinand” at my local movie theater. I guess I will have to either not talk or not worry about the black rod in place of tooth.

    • Thank you, Robin! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying a relaxing time. I have been, too. I finished going through the copyedited manuscript and sent it back last Friday, so I’ve taken a few days off.
      Sorry about your tooth. I hope you get it fixed soon. I was fortunate that my broken tooth did not show, and I got it repaired quickly and easily. (If it breaks again, I’ll need a cap, I think.) 😦

      • Oh, I hope yours doesn’t break, Merril. I suppose at our age we should be happy we can take care of ourselves, as best we can. Ha ha! 😀
        I did get a call that the substutute dentist has an opening at 2:30.
        I will go past movie theater and pick up tickets for “Ferdinand.” It is showing at 4:15, so am asking parents of my grandies to take them to theater. (Instead of my picking the youngest ones up, as planned earlier in week.)
        Just so glad I had this last week of the year off on vacation! It is freezing here, though. Brrr-r!

      • Thanks, Robin. I had to go through the manuscript for the encyclopedia, which had been copyedited. In a few weeks, I’ll get the page proofs to go through, and also around the same time, I’ll get the copyedited manuscript for the other book. 🙂

      • My goodness gracious, you still have quite a lot to edit and go through. . . Obviously, I had no idea there was so much to do. Keep up the fine and professional job! 🌟

      • My temporary and crown bill came to $1304.00! I am wondering what exactly my dental insurance really did to help my bill (?) I have a Care Credit card and just finished paying for my eye surgeries. . . In 48 months I had no extra finance charges for the two glaucoma and cataract surgeries. They have 0% interest if you pay it all within the time frame, otherwise compacted interest. 😁

  2. Pingback: #Haikai Challenge #14 (12/30/17): New Year #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #renga #haiga – Frank J. Tassone

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