Yes, Virginia


I wrote the following poem many years ago when I was reminiscing about Christmases past.  When I was young, I and the rest of my Frank family lived by the shores of Warner Lake in Minnesota with beautiful Plum Creek running toward the Mississippi.  My sister was very young, and I was a grumpy pre-teen.  Because we always went to our grandparents on Christmas Day, we celebrated our family time the night before.

A couple miles from Clearwater, our little idyllic setting provided me many opportunities for adventure and fun–swimming, exploring the woods surround the house, and riding bike up and down and around the circle driveway–in the summertime,.  Winter had its own special glow.  What I remember the most at this specific Christmas Eve was the dark, starry sky, the mounds of sparkling snow, and the glassy lake.

Yes, Virginia

Navy-blue, crystally winter’s night.

Glittering sifted snow, icing topped lake,

evergreens muffed in white. I plodded

as Becky pulled me down the glossy road.

A bundle of blue, she sometimes followed,

sometimes led, sometimes jumped over my feet

as she chattered about baby dolls, Santa’s snack—

star-shaped cookies, his tummy and our chimney.

Late autumn’s whispered secret unmasked the man.

a grown up woman of ten, I played my part

for my younger sister that Christmas Eve,

although I no longer believed.

Carolers sang, “. . .won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

I grumbled, “It’s time to go home.”

As I turned, my eye caught a wink of light

dashing across the blue-black sky.

Becky and I tumbled through pockets of snow.

The yard glowed—lit house and trees.

I blinked.

Who’s that hunching in the shadows?

Mom, traditionally dressed in pink flannel gown,

pulled off our coats and pushed us into the living room.

Becky ran to a diapered doll and teddy bear.

I gazed at a white-veiled Barbie,

Betty Crocker Bake set, white fur-topped boots.

On the floor lay the empty green 7UP bottle

and a plate of cookie crumbs.

I ran to the window. Cupped my hands around my eyes.

No reindeer, no sleigh.

But on that navy-blue, crystally winter’s night,

I decided to believe for another year.

What special memories do you have of Christmas? How about those around Clearwater or your home or around another village?  Bring them with you to share at the Navy-blue Crystally Christmas Tea  in Clearwater, MN, at the United Methodist Church  on Saturday, December 10, from 1:30-3:30.  We hope to start a Lyceum-like tradition of telling local stories.

Jennie’s Corner products and Cindy Stupnik’s books will make great Christmas presents and will be available to purchase.  Please check out or   for all my available books.

P.S. Just because a tea sounds like it is only for women, men and children are invited too.

If you are unable to attend, I wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS and wonderful New Year!


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