See Part 1 for the beginning of this story.
Jim and Hazel began sending out their unique Christmas greetings in 1983, which was before we had met them and were written onto their mailing list. Because of the generosity of their son, I am able to include here the poems that were written and shared before we started receiving them in 1990. Below you will find seven of Jim’s poems from those years.
It isn’t that we do not know
That Christmas comes not from the glow
Of candles burning in the night
Or tinsel on the tree so bright.
But just that all these many things
Bring forth the warmth and joy that springs
From all the love that comes our way
‘Cause Christ was born that Christmas Day.
So when the tinsel all comes down,
The glittering no more around –
If in your heart glow’s gone too,
Then you’ve not learned God’s gift to you.
– Jim Kistler, 1983
Ornaments and Memories
On the tree,
Gifts of friends
And family –
The memories come
Of all the many
On the very top
An Angel bright
Sending out a
A child is born
Early on this
-Jim Kistler, 1984
Choir around the
Sounds of music
Fill the air
Church bells ringing
Loud and clear
Joy to those
We hold so dear —
All because of
One small Child.
– Jim Kistler, 1985
Glowing hearth awaits inside
Glowing hearts in us abide.
Candles flickering with cheer,
Welcome all from far and near.
Come then, knock and enter in –
Love and warmth abound within.
Happiness and joy and mirth.
To all, good will, Peace on Earth.
Softly, gently falls the snow
Blanketing the earth below.
Bethlehem’s star high above-
Our house, Your house, filled with love.
-Jim Kistler, 1986
Remembering once long ago
When once we pulled a tree through snow,
Through many fields of white we’d roam
To bring our tree to hearth and home.
The memories of winters past
Are memories that last and last
Like those of friends both near and far
Our lives once touched by their bright star.
And the like the star of Bethlehem
The memories of Christmas snow
Set again our hearts aglow
With memories of Christmas past
That forever last and last.
-Jim Kistler, 1987
It’s Christmas Everywhere
It’s Christmas, Christmas everywhere
The sounds of Christmas fill the air,
The ringing bells, the caroling,
The joyous news the angels bring.
Across 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, Christmas 1988
Brand New On Christmas Day
Brand new star shines beauty bright,
Angels singing in the night,
Shepherds awed by what they hear,
Calmed to learn they need not fear.
Evening quiet, meek and mild,
Promise of a little Child.
Wisemen follow yonder star,
Seek the stable from afar.
Mary, Joseph kneel in prayer,
The new born Child sleeping there.
Ages pass, and still today
All brand new on Christmas day.
-Jim Kistler, 1989
Starting in 1983 up to the most recent Christmas, 2014, makes 31 years that the cards have been sent out. That’s a lot of creativity! That’s a lot of joy!
[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.]