This is Part 4 in a series of posts sharing the beautiful Christmas greetings and poems our friends have sent us through the years. Click here for Part 1.
The top picture shows our treasure chest with Jim and Hazel’s cards.
Jim and Hazel’s generosity continues as we move into the year 2006.
Winter, summer, spring or fall, matters not just where or when,
Matters only that He’s comin’, there is no time that’s best for all.
The reason for the season is to enjoy the gifts we’re given;
To anticipate what’s comin’ that will make life better livin’,
To see the night sky lit up by a bright and shiney star
That will get us where we’re goin’ even though it’s from afar.
To see a child asleepin’ yet to loudly hear His call
‘Cause the reason for the season is still the bestest gift of all.
– Jim Kistler, 2006
I wondered if Jim wrote 2007’s poem first, then found a card to match or if he found the cards and wrote a poem to match it. Hazel remembers this card was bought early, giving Jim time to compose his prose to match the picture.
The spirit of Christmas anew spreading around the earth,
the tale of love and joy from the gift of Mary’s birth.
The Three Wise Men who sighted a brand new brilliant star
saw it as the needed guide to take them to afar.
Finding the new King asleep for all the world to see,
they left the gifts they brought getting down on bended knee.
– Jim Kistler, 2007
Two Thousand Eight (2008) was about the star and angels.
May the star of Christmas be with you
Throughout the entire year
May the Angels always be there
To guide you on your way
May you be there to hear them
As it was meant to be
For the gift that was given
Was born on Christmas Day
– Jim Kistler, 2008
The year 2009 would be the last year Jim wrote a poem.
It looks inviting don’t you think?
Maybe we should take a peek?
See what’s inside to better enjoy
The wonderful gift of one small boy.
For ’twas the night that he arrived,
A gift from God for all to abide.
– Jim Kistler, 2009
Jim met Jesus face to face on September 15, 2010. Hazel is still on this side of heaven and her family has assisted her in continuing to send out Christmas greetings and poems during the years without Jim. The image on her card in 2010 was from an original piece of art done by Jim’s Mom, printed in black and white by his Dad and painted by their five children, including Jim. It was originally sent out in 1936 as a postcard. The poem of Jim’s was from 1988.
It’s Christmas, Christmas everywhere
The sounds of Christmas filled the air,
The ringing bells, the caroling,
The joyous news the angels bring.
Cross this land and across the sea,
Children dancing in ecstasy
As they awaken to the joy
Of gifts for every girl and boy.
No greater gift for us in mind
Than that which we would hope to find,
And ever, ever want to be,
Your gift of love beneath our tree.
And there also will be our love,
Much brighter than the stars above,
For Christmas isn’t Christmas true
Unless we’re sharing love with you.
– Jim Kistler, 1988
In 2011, Hazel sent a similar card. The handcrafted family picture was originally sent out in 1948 as a postcard. Hazel included the poem Jim’s mother wrote for his Sunday School play in 1925 and was included in Jim and Hazel’s 1995 card.
Then, in 2012, this pretty card found it’s way to our mailbox.
In 2013 another of Jim’s birth family’s greetings was resurrected and sent out to many. The image was a creation by Jim’s birth family and Hazel included a poem from 1933.
The night was dark, the wind was cold,
and the snow was coming down
And the people all were quiet
In that good old western town;
The old folks were all happy,
Not one of them was sad,
Only the cats and dogs did fight,
But they weren’t very bad.
The children all were merry
Yet as flighty as a moth
For it was that night, that good old night,
December, twenty fourth.
And Santa was a comin’
With his swift reindeer and his sleigh,
To make the children happy
When they wake up Christmas day.
And the children were all happy,
For you couldn’t see a frown
When they woke up the next morning
In that Good old Western town
– Jim Kistler Sr., 1933
We were so pleased to see a card from Hazel just last month. She continued to create poetic verse, matching her personal message to the picture on the card.
Hazel included this greeting:
Everyone could say I had a good year.
Every fall has been uneventful.
Every doctor has said “not bad for 96”.
Every day friends await just outside my door.
Prancing with my walker down at the core doors of the lodge
Seeing the Christmas decorations.
And hearing the music of the holiday.
Conjure up wonderful memories of the
friends and loved ones so dear to me.
May the good times and treasures of the present
become the golden memories of your tomorrow.
Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
May Santa bring peace,
love and joy to you during
this very special season.
So there it is – our 24 years of beautiful Christmas greetings, an even string of happy holiday cheer sent to us by two caring and creative people who have grown dearer to us as each envelope arrived at our home.
I hope Hazel realizes the joy she and Jim have brought us through the years. If you have enjoyed seeing their greetings and reading Jim’s poems, please tell her so by leaving a comment. I’m sure God has Jim doing a special assignment in heaven. I look forward to seeing him again there. If you get there before I do, please tell him how he and his poems enriched our lives here.
[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.]