This is a continuation of sharing the cards and poetry received over many years from our friends Jim and Hazel Kistler. See Part 1 and Part 2 for the beginning of this story.
Christmas of 1998 brought this card to our home and hearts:
That year’s poem is this:
‘Tis true that Santa comes each year
To fill our hearts with joy and cheer,
And once again a child are we
Awaiting with expectancy.
On Christmas dawn as you shall see
Our hearts will burst with ecstasy!
But on the morrow Santa’s gone
While He of Bethlehem lives on.
A Merry Christmas all year long.
– Jim Kistler, ’98
Another great card arrived in 1999.
If Christmas brings you nothing
But the silver and the gold,
Of a sparkling Christmas tree
With far more than it can hold.
Ornaments that turn and lights that burn
With glitter everywhere,
A toy dog that barks; a doll that walks
With locks of golden hair,
Then gifts galore spread on the floor
May help you to recall
That the reason for the season
Lies awaiting in the stall.
-Jim Kistler, ’99
This card came in 2000:
Once again the time is here.
Carolers singing, church bells ringing
Sights and sounds of Christmas Cheer.
Once again our hearts are gay.
Our greatest treasure in full measure
Once again has come our way.
Once again it’s in the air.
With spirits lifting thoughts are shifting.
Toward forgiveness everywhere.
Once again a star above,
Faintly gleaming, suddenly beaming.
Guiding to the gift of love.
Once again the thrill, the joy
Of trumpets sounding, peace abounding.
All because of one small Boy.
– Jim Kistler – 2000
The card and poem that came in 2001 reflected the state of our nation.
With the terrible tragedy of the terrorist attacks, it’s hard to find joy in this Christmas season, (reminiscent of Pearl Harbor) and yet, of course, the promise of Christmas is always with us. It was this thought that affected the creation of this poem, coming as it always does in the middle of the night. It lifted me out the depths of depression as we hope it will all of you. Our prayer is that all of you were spared personal losses.
Our prayer also is that the memories of yesteryears will bring us into your heart and hearts as they certainly will for us. We feel blessed to have those memories, which often feel as though it was only yesterday. As always, we wish you the joy of Christmas with friends and family, and all good things for the coming year.
A very Merry Christmas and a safe and peaceful new year.
Drawing penciled by a 12-year-old girl. Color added by Susan Hathaway.
It’s more than just a little Child,
It’s more than just a Holy Night.
It’s more than just a Bethlehem
With Angels singing in the night.
It’s more than Wiseman from afar,
And even more than one bright star.
It’s more than shepherds tending sheep
Awatching o’er a babe asleep.
It was a promise loud and clear
To all who bent a listening ear
Right from the moment of his birth
The promise came to all the earth.
And terrorists can’t take away
The promise made that Christmas day.
A Very Merry Christmas
And a Safe and Peaceful new year
– Jim Kistler, 2001
Jim was clever in 2002’s card as he incorporated the line inside the card into the end of his poem.
The Spirit of Christmas once more is here;
Truly our favorite time of the year,
Family and friends again reminiscing
The cherished memories of Isthmus cheer.
And as we gather around the table,
A newborn child asleep in the stable
Our message to you through old, always new,
Made the Good News He brings, bring…
Peace To You.
– Jim Kistler, 2002
The card that came in 2003 was cute.
A Real Live Memory
Yes, indeed, it is here again,
The Love, the joy, the cheer again
The sharing of a child’s delight
Who couldn’t wait another night
To have and hold a cuddly bear
So tightly it would lose its hair.
For that’s the joy and comforting
That just one tiny gift can bring.
This tale is told so you’ll enjoy
How much it meant to one small boy.
And what it meant for us to see
His blanket of security.
For Christmas, when all’s said and done
Comes from the gift of just one Son.
– Jim Kistler, 2003
Click here to continue reading about our treasured Christmas cards.
[NOTE: The poetry in this series is not my own, but expressly belongs to the Jim and Hazel Kistler family and should not be copied without permission or proper credit.]
Every year’s message reveals a writer with a heart full of love, but the 1999 one especially touched me