Worthy reasons for
enhancing holidays unfold
as one offers funds
previously lavished on gifts
not needed, spent in turn
to furnish food,
shelter for less
Kindly break loose,
pricey products, pledge
joyful comfort to
innocent children, others
with meager means,
minimal daily needs.
Do more than stacking,
unwanted goods on a
shelf, in a drawer,
or packing, piling
presents in a closet
until thrown away, give
to a social group this year.
Inspire yourself, forgo
items that sooner or
later end up tossed, trashed
as storage needs arise,
to support a chosen
Share a meal with hunger,
entice, engage an
outsider to roost, rest
feed mercy, grace
goodwill toward homeless,
devote time to lone
souls, spread solace.
PATSY KENNEDY LAIN continues to live in Hubert,
NC, writing and painting. She has works published in Old Mountain
Press Anthologies, several magazines and other anthologies. Patsy
finds inspiration for both writing and painting in day to day
activities. She often visits hometowns from which her and family
lived that bring back lots of memories and tales to tell.
US have been taken. The rest of us wait—with hope. Anticipation
has been wafting through our mountain neighborhood for days.
Here they come. Immobile, sturdy, we listen for the sounds we were
born to hear. Who will be chosen this time?
I must have swooned with excitement. As I’m picked up, I see the
bereft, the unchosen. But there’s still time for them. I try to
wave but am bundled tightly.
I am the only one moving out. Suddenly I’m lonely. After all, we’ve
grown up together. I drift in the onslaught of traffic noise. Then
calloused hands, gentle voices. "Careful. Don’t drop…"
I’m carried into a dimly lit entry where a sacred silence cushions
the muffed sounds below. Down stairs we go.
of young voices greets us. Up one step and I stand tall. Dozens of
children cluster near as I am unbound. Little hands touch me, tots
with fingers in their mouths or noses stare. Smiles and squeals
A large armchair occupies the center of the stage. Across the way I
recognize a neighbor standing proudly. I am not alone. Large boxes
are opened. Choices are made, and after more than an hour we are
dressed for the occasion. We shine with baubles, bows, balls,
figurines, miniature animals, soldiers, toys,
tinsel. A boy climbs a ladder and a large star completes my
ensemble. I am beautiful. But not finished.
A heavy string is wrapped around me to more murmurs of
Blink! I glow. A vivid rainbow of colors without the rain. Surely
that’s not snow falling! I see my neighbor is similarly adorned.
Mirror images, we twinkle with delight.
To "oohs" and "ahhs," children and grownups
alike, circle to admire us from every angle. We are pronounced
perfect. I sigh, happy.
This is what I was planted for.
CELIA HOOPER MILES, a Jackson County native,
lives, edits, writes in Asheville, NC. Old grist mills and Neolithic
sites are her passion; her fiction reflects both. Her nine novels
and two short story collections are available in independent
regional bookstores, online and on Kindle; two, Mattie’s Girl
and Sarranda are on Audible Books. Sarranda’s Legacy,
completing the Sarranda trilogy set in Jackson County, came out in