It’s sitting at your tree, your foster home, Above your very bed. In hospice rooms, where nurses smile, Though loved one’s eyes are red.

It’s Christmas Eve night,
All the world’s at rest.
Ghosts and ancestors of yore,
Watch us act our best.

Families of the world,
Have tabletop manger scenes,
And writers use the word “yore,”
Though we don’t know what it means.

So eat a cookie, and smile,
And put your cellphone down,
Talk to those who love you,
And family out of town.

Kiss a baby, pet a dog,
Help with kitchen chores,
And when you ask the dinner blessing,
Find a way to use the word “yore.”

Each family—even if it’s broken,
Each kid—no matter how sad,
Should find a way to smile at Christmas,
Though life is sometimes bad.

Life can be bad, you know.
It’s not smiles and mirth for all.
There are boys who live too far from town,
To learn to play baseball.

There are girls without mommies,
Boys without their dads,
Mothers with empty purses,
Working hard for what they have.

I was one of these.
And I’m betting you were, too.
Nobody gets life easy. No.
No matter what they do.

So I shall think of them,
The same way fire takes to logs,
I will think of the addicted, the homeless, the battered,
And unadopted dogs.

Because there is something bigger, way up yonder,
Something grander, something good.
I don’t know its name,
I just know it’s gravely misunderstood.

But it’s understood on Christmas,
Because tonight it’s in the air,
Thank heaven it’s in stars and memories,
And family photos by the stairs.

It’s in tales I hear of Granny,
Killing hens with a cleaver,
The story of Uncle John,
Trapping that pesky beaver.

The stories of my daddy,
Running barefoot through the snow,
When he was young and healthy. Alive.
Before he had to go.

It’s in family. And friends.
And things that make you cry,
Things that matter, things that don’t,
And people who have died.

You see, family is only temporary,
One blink, and here comes fate,
You’ll wish you had more time,
You’ll wish, though it’s too late.

But lo, the memories are back tonight,
They’ve all come out to play,
They run like warm, thick, ribbon syrup,
And Daddy’s alive again this way.

And the goodness, God, it’s all over,
Not only here with me and you,
It’s in the whole damn city,
From ghettos to ICU.

It’s sitting at your tree, your foster home,
Above your very bed.
In hospice rooms, where nurses smile,
Though loved one’s eyes are red.

It’s in your wife, your newborn,
This redhead’s pathetic rhyme.
And it is with you always,
Until the end of time.

Merry Christmas to your family,
Merry Christmas to you, too.
But most of all, Merry Christmas to the hurting.
For God himself is here with you.


  1. Lucretia Jones - December 25, 2017 7:56 am

    Amen….Christmas love !!! Lucretia

  2. Vickie - December 25, 2017 7:57 am

    Merry Christmas! Your poem helped me this morning.

  3. Pamela Verbel - December 25, 2017 8:34 am

    Merry Christmas, Sean. Peace be with you and your family.

  4. Brian Heinz - December 25, 2017 8:56 am

    Merry Christmas and thank you for all you do.

  5. candyalso - December 25, 2017 11:23 am

    Thank you Sean for an awesome year of wonderful messages everyday. You took the sting out of 2017’s political horrors and gave us all the perspective that we wish our leaders had. Kindness Matters and you have shown us that! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you and Jamie and Ellie Mae and all of your extended family~

  6. Mary - December 25, 2017 11:57 am

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Suzanne - December 25, 2017 12:12 pm

    Thank you Sean, one more time!! Its my first Christmas without my big brothe. This warmed my heart & made me smile.

  8. Charlie Hopkins - December 25, 2017 12:43 pm

    May yore days be merry and bright…

  9. Maggie Perez - December 25, 2017 1:15 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and your wife and dog. Thank you so much for always showing us the things that matter. Good things and important. Showing us the things we should focus on with kindness and love. Well done.

  10. Carlin Brooks - December 25, 2017 1:21 pm

    Peace my brother from another mother, but servant of the same Father.

  11. Kay - December 25, 2017 1:38 pm

    Merry Christmas, Sean and family. You have brought so much joy to so many lives. I read your message every morning on my way to work. It brings tears of gladness for all humanity every single time!

  12. Jean Crutchfield - December 25, 2017 1:42 pm

    This hit home in so many areas. I love it. Its my gift from you this Christmas Morning. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  13. bewell40 - December 25, 2017 2:23 pm

    I love this poem. A literary critic would call it doggerel verse, which Wikipedia defines as “poetry that is irregular in rhythm and in rhyme, often deliberately for burlesque or comic effect. The word is derived from the Middle English dogerel, probably a diminutive of dog. In English it has been used as an adjective since the fourteenth century and a noun since at least 1630.” From now on I’m going to rename the genre as “elliemaeal verse.”

  14. jnearen2013 - December 25, 2017 2:27 pm

    Merry Christmas Sean from Orange Beach Alabama.

  15. Marty from Alabama - December 25, 2017 2:49 pm

    Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. God bless your mission to lighten our days.

  16. Al - December 25, 2017 2:56 pm

    Merry Christmas to you, Sean! Thanks for making it real.

  17. gayle r tucker - December 25, 2017 3:43 pm

    You are a terrific writer but, sadly, not a poet.

  18. Sandi in FL - December 25, 2017 3:51 pm

    Sean, here’s a wish for a very Merry Christmas to you, Jamie and Ellie Mae. Your poem has a good message, and we thank you for sharing it. Looking so forward to continued joy from your delightful blog as the new year unfurls.
    Blessings in abundance!

  19. Marlene - December 25, 2017 4:01 pm

    Merry Christmas, Sean.

  20. Deb Moody - December 25, 2017 4:13 pm

    Merry Christmas and many blessings to you!

  21. Jack Darnell - December 25, 2017 4:32 pm

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, That doesn’t say enough in words. But inside I say thanks so much for your gift of words that brighten so many days. The visits are always rewarding…

  22. Clyda - December 25, 2017 5:48 pm

    Merry Christmas from Pine Bluff, Ar. Received two of your.books from Santa, per my request. If you are ever by this way, stop by for a cup of coffee. We need to visit!

  23. Debbie Webb - December 25, 2017 5:49 pm

    Merry Christmas Sean!! Thank you for your gift of writing and your HUGE Heart. ?

  24. Anna Reid - December 25, 2017 11:37 pm

    Merry Christmas, Sean. You are a blessed gift, opened anew each day of the year. Thank you, and God bless you and yours.

  25. Deena - December 26, 2017 12:14 am

    Your heartfelt sentiments are wonderful … your poetry, not so much.. ? I have loved every one of your writings I have had the pleasure to read, so stay healthy and happy in 2018 and continue sharing with us, please! Merry Christmas Sean and Jamie!

  26. Patricia Gibson - December 26, 2017 12:58 am


  27. wendy franklin - December 26, 2017 3:18 am

    My father-in-law died this Christmas morning. This could not have come at a better time. Thank you, Sean.

  28. Elizabeth ( Betsey) Wooten - December 26, 2017 4:29 am

    As usual, you’ve said it all- perfectly- thank you for warming my heart.

  29. Pamela McEachern - December 26, 2017 5:26 am

    MERRY CHRISTMAS I Wish we all were as kind to each other as we are today, maybe we can try to extend this magical season one more day longer. I have had my best Christmas in a very long time. I hope ya’ll have had one too. God Bless
    Peace and Love from Birmingham ?

  30. Margaret - December 26, 2017 6:05 pm

    Thank you! And, BTW, my son used, “yore,” in his blessing. Nearly lost all of us on that one!

  31. Jody - December 26, 2017 8:33 pm

    Merry Christmas. You brighten our days.

  32. Mary Ellen Hall - December 26, 2017 9:49 pm


  33. Sue Cronkite - December 28, 2017 11:10 pm

    Another good ‘un. You’re not much of a poet, Sean, but you sure got it right. Blessings upon you.

  34. June Pryor - January 2, 2018 1:36 pm

    Your Christmas poetry I made me stop and think of real life from the past. I didn’t get to it until Jan 2, but just want to tell you it’s a great piece.


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