Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The First

The first time Christmas eve was filled with their yelling I was eight.  The next morning my little sister and I smiled for his camera in front of a tree laden with things that were suppose to make us happy.
Sometimes it is a very long wait to you first real Christmas.

The first Christmas I spent with a man who didn't yell was hard for me to process. I'd waited a long time for him; ever since that eight year old stared into the camera and Christmas was full of empty things. But when this man spread powered footprints through our house pretending to be Santa and insisted we hide each other's presents, I simply asked him why.  Why would we do that? We didn't have kids yet.
He said it would be fun.
Like a Christmas with no yelling? I couldn't understand. What did I know of fun? Sometimes it is a long wait to your first real Christmas.

The first Christmas I looked out over the high rise of Hong Kong you played those same silly Santa games. For just a little while I forgot how far away from home we were. And I loved you for it.
Your family visited and hid teddy koalas in every nook of our apartment. In February I found the last one. In the freezer. And I loved your parents too.
But I wanted to go home. Sometimes it is a long wait to you first real Christmas.

The first Christmas morning when we two were now three, we watched his little hands pull at wrapping and we laughed as he sucked on bows.
"No need for presents," you said. "Next year we'll just give him the box."
You meant to make me laugh. But I knew how few presents we'd been able to buy him this year. He'd grow too old for a box, and then what? What would happen that year? And the year after that?  Sometimes it is a long wait to your first real Christmas.

The first Christmas we flew the oceans back to Australia and finally called it home again we lived in bedroom under your parents' house.  You started you business from the garage of that same house. And when I couldn't see past the walls around me, you took my hand and told me to imagine next year. Our next Christmas. In our own home.
"We will find something we can afford to rent," you said.
Sometimes it is a long wait to your first real Christmas

The first Christmas when we three were now four, we had that house in the suburbs. A lovely rental with cheery feelings. Our house. A home. I breast fed a bud all sweaty summer long and you made a water wonderland out of a kiddy pool and a hose. We felt like a family that year. The same year my mother left my father and I battled to decide if I should rescue the man who filled my childhood with empty things.
Sometimes it is a long wait to your first real Christmas.

The first Christmas we four packed up that cheery house and prepared to kiss its many memories for one last time you said, "We made it."
We swapped our rent for a mortgage.  And we wrapped up all that precious Home into velvet boxes in our hearts.

On the 23rd of Dec we are to move into a place where we can stay. A place were we can watch our boys run through childhood without the cares I knew. We are finally the Landlords. The King and Queen.  And the two little wild things in our kingdom are free to jump off their bunk beds and fill their boyhood pockets with treasures from a new backyard.

"Are you worried about anything?" I asked you.

This must be it... I waited for Christmas to fill my heart.

"But my sister?" I asked.
"We'll find her, you said.

"And my Dad?" I asked.
"Is not apart of who we are," you said.

I looked around at the packing tape and towers of boxes in echoing rooms. And I realized that I was home. Here, in the midst of Crazy. Here, on the edge of so many things I could be sad about. Here, surrounded by my future and the strength of the hands I hold. Little hands. And his hand. Oh, thank God for his hand. This first man who didn't yell at Christmas.

And it happened. Just like that. A tree in bud. My first real Christmas put down roots in my soul.
The first of many.
Sometimes it is a long wait to your first real Christmas.

Happy holidays to all my blogging mates. 
I hope your first real Christmas happened a long time before mine, but if you are still waiting then I pray you keep hoping. May Christmas find you where you are. Even in the midst of Crazy. Even if you are like me, with the echoes of Christmas Ghosts Past still to deal with. 

Have a wonderful Christmas with those who hold your hand. Be blessed by the hope you hold.
Merry Christmas. 

[I will see you guys again on the 31st of Dec. I can't resist one last post for the year:)] 


  1. Aww darn it, you made me cry again Tab! Lovely, as always :) And a wonderful Christmas to you and your adorable family :) Good luck with the move!

  2. Tabitha, this post shows just how many blessings you have in your life. How much to be grateful for. The ghosts are there, but they can't hurt us anymore--only if we allow it. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

  3. Thank you for your transparency. God bless this new adventure! Merry Christmas.

  4. I love this, "And we wrapped up all that precious Home into velvet boxes in our hearts."

    Beautiful writing, Tab. I love that you found Christmas.

  5. You deserve this incredible gift, Queen! I'm so happy for you! May it be the best one yet. See you on th 31st!

  6. Lovely, Tabitha. Just lovely, and moving. I hope your Christmas is wonderful (and air conditioned) in your new home.

  7. May your new castle always be filled with love and grace. Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours Tabitha!

  8. Sometimes ghosts never leave us but that doesn't mean we can't allow the present to outshine them. When you write about the family you have made for yourself, the man who is rock-steady, I know your light is just getting brighter and brighter. I love reading your words. You should know they shine far.

  9. I wish I had words right now, to tell you how happy I am for you! Love, love, love your new house and remember that your first Christmas is every day you can spend with your beautiful family. You've been there all along, now it just has a roof over it.

  10. Beautiful Tabitha. Merry Christmas!

  11. That was so beautiful and moving. I often like to share my favorite line or phrase, but there are so many lovely ones in this post that I can't choose a favorite.

    I am so glad you have found happiness in Christmas. :)

  12. Hi Tabitha-
    So beautifully written. Beautiful.
    Wonderful you found a man who doesn't yell and along with it a sense of home. Really like the "King and Queen reference."
    Merry Christmas Tabitha! It's been a pleasure sharing stories together in the world of blogging.
    Happy New Year!

  13. Aw, this just made me end up smiling. Hooray for you and your family and those hands big and small!

  14. Beautifully said. I'm so glad you've found happiness. Merry Christmas!

  15. Oh man, so beautiful. And sad, but I think you know that a real Christmas begins in our hearts and wow, what a man you have! You're so blessed. :-)
    LOL about the baby presents. We didn't buy our kids presents for a while, but now that they're older it's SO fun!

  16. So beautiful and meaningful, Tabitha. I love, love this.

    Straight From Hel

  17. You made me cry too. I'm so happy for you! Now you can be the benevolent Queen of your own Domain. I was always good at making whatever Christmas I had a real one--whatever stepdad it was this year, whether at grandma's house or in a travel trailer--but, after six years of trying, I still long for little gubbery hands playing with a box to make my Christmas perfect. Hopefully next year :)

  18. That was a delight to read. Hope the move/unpack is OK. Be blesses on this amazing Christmas - one that you'll remember :) xx

  19. Tab that was beautiful. I am so looking forward to a stress free chirstmas. The kids are running around with not a care in the world. They are free to be kids and do what kids do best, play. Oh I am enjoying watching them run freely. See you soon. xx

  20. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it. Much to think about. What we have. And what we don't have.

  21. smiling and crying. you're blessed to have a good man in your life who can give you real Christmases. blessings.

  22. I'm crying too. You write so beautifully Tab. I hope this is a wonderful Christmas for you and your family.

  23. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Christmas. Hope every Christmas feels the same!

  24. Beautifully written, as always. I hope this Christmas is filled with only good things--wonderful things--for your family.

  25. What a gift this post is, Tab (as is all your writing, really). I love that you've found home with this amazing man, and Christmas with your new home. I also love how your story peaks through here. Enjoy. Love.

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  27. sorry for the typing..isaid amy instead of may....its because i type with two fingers and dont look at the screen.

  28. Beautiful Tabitha bird...How i love who you are!
    a source of human experiences, so deeply warm, so gentle, so sweet....
    May you be that Angel always, With a heart like yours only love can flow, and love and love!!!!
    so much happiness i wish for you and your sweet family.
    May all kinds of blessings rain upon you not only for Christmas but for all times.
    i give you all my love!
    And thankyou Beautiful little twinkling star!
    keep twinkling
    i ll look up in the sky and see your lovely light pouring!

    joseph :-))

  29. That was lovely.

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  30. Lovely as always, Tabitha! Have an amazing Christmas and end-of-2009!

  31. I'm so happy to have read this today, Tabitha. You gave me a much needed cry. I love the energy in this piece of writing. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  32. This is an epic post. Your whole heart is here for us to hold. And I love it.

    PS: Even in the midst of Crazy, life can be Very Good. I hope yours is, too, dear bloggy friend.

  33. Always lov reading your stuff. That's why I had to mention you in my Christmas poem. Check it out when you get a chance. Click for my holiday message!
    Have a wonderful holiday!

  34. This is so sweet Tab. I love your husband for loving you as he does, for filling all the empty places that faulty parents leave. Blessings dear one. Hug them all close.

  35. Just came to your blog the very first time and find myself so very moved. Like you I waited long for the first X-mas. Love to you from my heart to yours.

  36. What an amazing story. Beautiful and poignant, as always. Enjoy life in your new home - and Merry Christmas to you, your King, and your "two little wild things." Happy 2010 to all of you, too!

  37. we grew up Jewish but felt the pain of no holiday joy...no special meanings....still struggle with what 'holiday' is supposed to be...what it's all about...but today...there's peace. Take gentle care of you. Sarah

  38. I just love you. Dec. 23 was my birthday. Good luck much happiness and god bless.

  39. Dear Poet,
    If you are receiving this announcement, it means that at one time or another you linked an acrostic poem at Acrostic Only. We are in the process of preparing for our first Acrostic Only Anthology – Volume I. If you care to be a part of this wonderful project, please visit our Blog for more information.

    We will be choosing poems to be considered for the Anthology from January – March, 2010. However, if you desire to have some of your work considered, there are a couple of deadlines you will have to meet, and you must email me your intentions to acrosticonly@gmail.com!

    I thank you all for supporting Acrostic Only, and I look forward to another year poetic interaction.

    Happy New Year to you, your beloved family, and readers!

  40. Oh Tabitha. So heartbreaking and poignant. So glad you have that man who doesn't yell at Christmas. Wish you the best in your new home.

  41. Tabitha this is gorgeous! I'm catching up on my blog reading and am so glad I happened by today. This is wonderful. Congratulations on your home, your first Christmas. A place where you can all dream and run free!

    All hail Queen Tabitha!

    Happy New Year,

  42. You write with gold-dusted ink that paints a picture in my sky.

    Thank you ever so much, Tabitha Bird, for the enjoyment I gain from these visits.
    Blessings for the hope of Christ to stretch into New Year's.

  43. I'm late to the party, but I had to add my two cents... this is an amazing post, Tabitha. Beyond beautiful and utterly touching in its honesty. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  45. I adore you so, Tabitha, I would be quite lost without your posts. I would so love to be as brave and honest as you in my writing, the truth in this post of yours nearly made me cry. I understand what you are talking about almost too well.

    Never change, never change. <3


  46. Stunning, thanks so much for writing it, it was beautiful.