The Day After Christmas - Poem by Rannet Hanson
The day after Christmas by Rannet Hanson 2015
It was the day after Christmas, everything was in disarray,
Paper was thrown everywhere and boxes were in the way.
I was feeling down after the big Christmas rush.
Then I thought that the shopping was too much.
It's true that I love Christmas morning, all the excitement and joy,
My family opens all their new clothes and every new toy.
I love all the bright wrapping and the beautiful trimmed tree,
the bright eyes and wide smiles and everyone shouting with glee.
Getting everything ready this year was quite a feat.
When I think about next year, I can't compete.
We have worked to make this house our home,
but it's filled with our stuff, it's too small to hold all that we own.
There just isn't room for all of our things,
And the presents that each Christmas brings.
I turned on the television to have a distraction,
but the program it showed gave me another reaction.
In our city is a church with a great tall steeple,
They were asking for donations for all the needy people.
I realized that we have so many things we don't use anymore,
clothes, books, toys and tools, we can give them to the poor.
I gathered my family to explain my plan,
but it took a while for everyone to understand.
I arranged boxes as I watched for their reaction,
Finally all heads nodded to my satisfaction.
With a small start we each took one box to fill,
In went books, movies, clothing even a cordless drill.
It was hard, every item held a found memory,
I held my tears so no one would see.
We carried all the boxes and loaded the car,
then drove to the church, it wasn't very far.
The church was busy, I was surprised as I could be,
the poor were not just old men with no family.
A young girl was in the corner sitting all alone,
the church director said she had just lost her home.
Both parents worked for the airlines, now they're unemployed.
They were replaced by machines, a new kind of droid.
My daughter reached into a box and pulled out a game,
' She looks lonely and sad, I'll go ask her name.'
The two girls greeted each other and sat down to play,
I got close to hear what the girl had to say.
'I had everything that I wanted, really it's kind of funny,
We had clothes, toys and trips, we never worried about money.
I had everything and scorned those who had nothing,
I did not worry about what tomorrow might bring.
Then my parents quit going to work.
I thought that it was a new kind of perk.
It was great, we played games and went for long walks,
I had help with my homework, and we had interesting talks.
I learned how to swim and how to play pool,
My education was much more than school.
It was great, I got a lot of attention,
But gradually I could feel the tension.
I heard whispering, checks were starting to bounce,
Then the unthinkable happened, we lost our house.
With no place to keep it we had to sell most of our stuff.
Before life had been easy, I didn't know it could be so tough.
It's true that my parents did not want me to know
but it's no secret when our finances sank so low.'
My daughter was compassionate and full of grace,
she took the girls hand and looked her in the face,
'It's true that for your parents you must be strong,
be brave and smart, but you have done no wrong.
Please try to enjoy playing with me today,
I'll ask my parents to help yours find jobs that pay.
My Mom works for a big employment agency,
Your Mom and Dad will find jobs, just wait and see.'
After hearing this I knew that now my task was set,
To help the parents of the girl my daughter just met.
Leaving the girls to play, I went in search for this pair.
I needed to show them that there are people who care.
They were by themselves, feeling depressed.
Homeless, they were not at their best.
After explaining that I helped people find employment,
they confided that their jobs had given them enjoyment.
Looking for the same type of work had been their downfall.
They both realized too late that it was a bad call.
Now they felt trapped and didn't know what to do,
They could only watch as their troubles grew.
I assured them things would get better, it was not too late,
First we needed to list their skills, then evaluate.
They might need to go to school or get some training,
obviously the market for their abilities was waning.
It's true that they might acquire some debt,
but to have a more secure future, this is the best bet.
I wanted to encourage them the best that I could,
I hoped that this simple truth would.
'These tough times have not torn your family apart.
That proves that you have a steadfast heart.'
We made arrangements to meet the next day,
there was so much to do, to start them on their way.
I was making a list when we said good-bye.
Their look of anxious hope made me want to cry.
To fill out forms they needed a permanent address.
This was a huge barrier, I must confess.
With references from the shelter, they found an apartment.
It was close to college but had reasonable rent.
They worked by day and took classes at night,
They met other families who shared their plight.
That day we all learned a lesson that can't be ignored.
I found that helping others is my greatest reward.
The family found that there are people who care,
and we will carry on when we learn how to share.
The father now works for the local water board.
and the mother works in the Hospital's Critical Care Ward.
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