This Christmas

Sherry and I have several Christmas traditions, and one she initiated is the exchanging of stockings on Christmas morning. We seldom put anything of great meaning or expense in them, and it’s usually just fun stuff, trinkets, and such. One year—2003—we were enduring a bit of a budget crunch, and so rather than buy things to put in Sherry’s stocking, I wrote her the following poem and wrapped up the “gifts” described in it. She says it is still her most favorite Christmas stocking ever!

This Christmas


This Christmas finds us a bit behind

     In matters of our finance

          And so creative with gifts I must be

Due to this dire circumstance


I bought you a shirt I know will look

     Just beautiful on you

          Not the brand you wanted I fear

But I hope that it will do


In your stocking you’ll find a number of things

     And at first you might be miffed

          But as you read this and the writings on them

I think you will get my drift


There’s a shell that stands for the man

That was broken and empty before

            You found him and gave your love

                       Made him feel life had so much more


There’s a nut, I know you’ll laugh

And that’s why I gave it to you

              I hope I always make you laugh

                          The way I often do


There’s a rock in a box all wrapped

Don’t throw it at me dear

               It stands for the soundness of my love

                                  It will endure for all the years


And there’s a tiny cross on a thread of chain

It stands for us two being one

                   Two fabrics sewn together

                          By the loving hands of God


And then you’ll find the two of hearts

The card that we’ve drawn together

               Though bent and worn, I mean it to say

                                       That our love will last forever


Copyright © 2003 C. Mashburn


Posted to Gooseberry Garden’s Poetry Picnic #18 (It’s supposed to be about Snow, December, Winter Vacations, and Wildness, but I figure it’s Christmas week, so this one is close enough.)


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Best stocking ever!!!!!

  2. Aw, this is lovely.

    My boyfriend and I are celebrating by buying each other the tackiest, cheapest cards we can find.

    • I think that’s a great idea! I like to do different things! One year I checked Sherry’s make-up drawer, and bought her one of everything in there. She thought I was a genius! Hahaha.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  3. Wonderful poem Charles.

  4. Kay Salady said

    This is sooooo romantic! Just wonderful, Charles.

  5. This is clever. It not only touches on the love shared by two people, but also the essence of what Christmas giving really should be about.


  6. terri0729 said

    Oh Charlie, how awesome and endearing!!! Just beautiful! I know what you mean about the creative gifting, we are doing the same 🙂 luckily we have a lot of girls in the family and they all know they will get new jewelry from me at Christmas each year. Mark bought me a beading book as an early present and I am coming up with some new creations for everyone to be a surprise. Peace, love and blessings to you and Sherry, Terri

  7. How delightful! A marriage is filled with such random and wonderful things, the sweetness of acknowledging is so very refreshing! Thank you for sharing with me, Charles, all my best to you and Sherry.

    • The random and wonderful things are what keep our love new and exciting. (Well… as exciting as it can be at my age.) <— please note the use of the word "my" rather than "our". I should get points for that!
      Thanks for the wonderful comments, Sherrie!

      • Sherry Mashburn said

        You need the points after your “hair dye” comment yesterday! But I still love you!!

      • I believe what I said was, “Hi Dear”. You must’ve heard me wrong!

  8. dswan2 said

    What a lovely tradition for two empty-esters! And the poem shows that love survives when income might not! Thank you, Charles, for this and for your kind words on my post.

    • I love is based on money, it is often worthless! Love that can survive the lean times is priceless!
      Thanks for the visit and comments, Donna!

  9. Gigi Ann said

    This was a great idea. What do you give her for your anniversaries? This looks like a great idea for an anniversary. So romantic.

    • I try to write a poem for our anniversary. Sherry loves them.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  10. Becky said

    Those are perfect gifts!
    How very creative and thoughtful, which is what it should be… thoughtful. I made gifts this year as well and the reaction I’ve received so far fills my soul with warmth.

    • If it were up to me, the rule would be, “no store-bought gifts!”
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Becky!

  11. Such meaningful gifts in one stocking. Love the idea.

    • Thank you, Rosie! I’m thinking I should make it another tradition, but don’t know if I can be that creative every year!

  12. Lovely poem, lovely gifts! 🙂 Happy Holidays, Charles! 🙂

  13. Deborah said


  14. booguloo said


  15. amira said

    wow this is cool 😀
    this is for real?
    i thought these kind of things happen only in the movies 🙂

    in real life people spend so much on worthless (yet expensive) gifts that eventually finds its way to bins.

    • amira said

      and oh!
      i liked the last bit about the heart of 2.
      that’s just awesome 🙂

    • Yes, it is for real! I think my life is a movie! An even better one than “It’s a WOnderful Life”!
      And you are so right. I think we should give love, not buy things!
      Thank you for the visit and comments!

  16. theprecipiceofwes said

    It truly is the thoughts behind the gifts that count. The best gift my wife ever got me was a book of my photography with corresponding poems. She spent hours combing thousands of pictures and poems to find the ones she liked the best. Some much better than a store-bought gift. Charles, Kudos to your passion and creativity.

    • Thanks, Wes. That sounds like a great gift your wife made for you. I need to get busy and put some of my poems in a book for Sherry. I’ve written lots of them for her, but keep putting off compiling them. One of these days!
      Thanks for your visit and comments. I hope you enjoy my blog!

  17. awwww you are so the embodiment of my hope, the two of you awww!
    happy holidays! could you sprinkle some of this luck my way this year, pretty please? 🙂 thanks! xxxxxxxx

    • We are sending hugs and kisses and much luck your way, Lynn!
      Thank you so much for your support, your visits, and your wonderful comments!

  18. This is what It’s all about: Presence over presents. It gave me the chills.

    • Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Victoria!
      Thank you for the wonderful comments!

      • Charlie, for my prompt this week that I post on Wednesday 3 PM PST, I’ve included a link to this poem. I chose Presents vs. Presence for the theme. If you rather I don’t, let me know and I’ll work around. It’s just the link, not the poem itself. Blessings.

      • That’s wonderful, Victoria! Thank you!

  19. elizena said

    This year, as in previous years, it’s been kind of tight. I was so used to giving gifts out to everyone and I mean everyone, There are forty of us total from my siblings all the way down to great-nieces and nephews. Four years ago I realized it wouldn’t be possible to do that anymore, but I still wanted something special to do with all my nieces and nephews and so the Aurora and Newark Chapter of Chocoholics and All Things Sweet Anonymous was born. LOL! We get together and watch movies, eat popcorn, sing Christmas carols, read the Christmas story and spend most the night baking and then talk until the wee hours of the morning. The next day I wake up early and make home made pancakes or french toast, scrambled eggs and bacon for the kids and we watch more movies until they get picked up by mom and dad.
    I get to spend time with them, they have a night where they can just hang out and mom and dad get a night where they can just relax or do whatever they wish and when they pick the kids up they have a small container of cookies and whatever little craft I may have done with the kids. I don’t spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts anymore, but now Christmas means so much more.
    I think your Christmas gift was a wonderful gift of love. Be blessed

    • That is a wonderful tradition and a wonderful gift to all your family! I would love to see Christmas evolve to a time when we all spent more time with family and friends, and less time shopping. The gift of love is the best one of all.
      Thank you for sharing your story with me, Elizena.
      And thank you for the awesome visit and comment!

  20. Sounds like a good thing 🙂

  21. Summer said

    perfectly cool one,


  22. i have no idea such a simple thing, be a beautiful giving. very sweet Charles!

  23. I have to agree, this is what life is made of and from, very precious indeed… Love it…. Happy Holidays you too, many blessings…. WS

  24. Raivenne said

    Sweet. Romantic. Loving. Perfect.

    Merry Christmas Charles (and to the very lucky Sherry).

  25. Katherine said

    That’s so sweet and heartfelt! It’s probably the greatest gift one could ever receive on Christmas 😀 Beautiful!

  26. joycedevivre said

    Now I’m reading the Best Christmas Poem 😀

  27. Love it!! The best gifts are the ones money can’t buy…this year I am making Cd’s for my girls from cassette tapes I found of them when they were young. They will have so much fun listening to them, and remembering..

    • The CD idea is great! I bet they enjoy them!
      And I enjoy your visits and comments! Thank you, Susie!
      Merry Christmas!

  28. Beautiful, Charles! Your wife is a lucky lady!

  29. Abby Kelly said

    Can I steal your idea? Where did you come up with that – I’m as impressed by the creativity as I am by the poem!
    Good Job!

  30. Heaven said

    Sweet and romantic…I sure would love to receive such blessings from my hubby ~

  31. soulful kirti said


  32. […] the holidays are here, read this wonderful post ”This Christmas” from […]

  33. Wow, this is truly inspirational. What a nice list of things with so much meaning. The greatest gifts are not those that can be purchased in the stores, but the gifts that we give with our hearts!

    • I have to admit, my regret is that I have not done it again. I’ve thought I can’t possibly match it, but after posting this, I’m thinking I should give it a try; even make it a tradition. I mean, really, it might not match the first one, but it would probably still be very special.
      Thanks, Erick, for the great comment!

  34. 1emeraldcity said

    Such a sweet, generous work here! Thank you for sharing!. Feel like I have been given a gift. :))

    • Oh! I like that; the thought that I’ve given you and maybe others, a gift by writing and posting this. Yes! I like that a lot!
      Thank you for the awesome comment!

  35. A wonderful poem of love! Merry Christmas!

    Anna :o]

  36. What a wonderful way to express your love at Christmas! Simply beautiful.

    • Thank you! I’m trying to think of a way to do it again, but not sure I can pull it off! Kind of like last minute NOT shopping!

  37. […] week I was struck by a poem written by fellow blogger, Charles Mashburn. Without going into the poem itself, (I hope you will […]

  38. Perfect…may not be …. as you said…a perfect write…but a perfect rite. Making Christmas special and with thought…not necessarily with things, but with thoughts and ingenuity.

    Posted on fb…love this idea.

    Peace, and Best Holiday wishes,
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

  39. Bodhirose said

    An excellent message here, Charles–perfect for Victoria’s prompt today.

    Merry Christmas!

  40. Morning said

    so many wonderful gifts packed with love, solid and cool.

    divine entry.

  41. I like it! It reminds me of one that I just posted this morning… sort of.

    For Ref:

    I’ll follow you and check in from time to time, thanks for visiting my blog!

    • Yes, Bradley, your poem, Poor man’s rich Christmas, is in the same theme as this one I’ve posted. I like it!
      Thanks for the visit and comment, and I hope you enjoy your future visits to my blog!

  42. claudia said

    coming over from victoria’s place to read your poem..and really love the honesty, tenderness and symbolism.. a touching write..thank you

  43. Wander said

    This is very romantic! Thank you for comming to my site.

  44. This is so romantic and creative, too. You have such a special love and bond with Sherry. Shee is blessed and so are you but, I guess, you both know that. I’m sure the best gift would have been – YOU …..!!!!
    Merry Christmas …

    • Yes we do know it, Isadora, and we are so thankful for our blessings!
      Merry Christmas to you and yours, too!

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