Archive for December, 2008

This angel has been on our tree since 1943.  She’s a little worn now and has lost her halo in a move but she is loved still.






There she reigns, with dignity

          Atop our Christmas tree

The place of honor that’s been hers

          Since 1943


And as I stand and gaze at her

          The years just fade away

As the precious gift of memory

          Recalls my yesterday


I see the mounting excitement

          As the children gather near

While we make preparations for

          The best time of the year


The tree, in nature’s beauty

          Stands with outstretched arms

As little hands adorn her

          With pretty man-made charms


And when it’s finally gifted

          With tinsel, lights, and snow

It awaits the final treasure

          Our Angel’s special glow


And so the Angel’s taken

          And is handed up to me

For the childrens’ arms cannot reach

          The tip-top of the tree


As I place her gently on the top

          And Dad plugs in the light

The joy I see in the childrens’ eyes

          Is such a lovely sight


And now, it is the present

          The years have flown so fast

But our Angel is still with us

          A token from the past


Her wings are bent a little

          And dust has grayed her hair

Her gown is somewhat soiled and frayed

          But still, she hovers there


Signature’s Of Love, I call

          The smudges on her face

They were placed there by the children

          Before I put her in her place


Her halo may have slipped a bit

          But casts its golden glow

Down through the laden branches

          Onto the ones below


And when it’s time to take her down

          She’s packed away with care

For as long as we shall have a tree

          Our Angel must be there


12/17/71            Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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A Poem for our Christmas Gift, my granddaughter, Holly Noel


She’s Grandma’s little darling

And cute as she can be

A very special little girl

On that we all agree


Perhaps I’m somewhat prejudice

Cause that’s how Grandmas are

I think she’s sweet and wonderful

And our family’s latest star


There’s a simple explanation

And a nice revealing key . . .

She’s everything the books say

A little girl should be


She loves to look feminine

In ribbons, lace, and bows

She’s a real little lady

From her head to her toes


She’s coy and she’s impish

Yet, that dear angelic face

Is a clue to her sweetness

And to her charm and grace


She’s giggles and good humor

She’s all hugs and kisses

She’s bouncy blond pony-tail

With charm that never misses


She’s a precious little sweetheart

And I can promise this!

She’s blessed us with her presence

Like Heaven’s sweetest kiss



4/3/77     Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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One year, when I was young, we were quarantined.  I just knew that Santa could not come because there was a big sign in front of our house warning him, and everyone else, away.  So, when dad carried me downstairs and I saw what Santa had brought, I could not believe my eyes. This is a true story from my childhood. 


I want to thank you all for the joy you have brought me this year; reading and commenting on my poems. 


A very Happy Holiday to each and everyone and a Merry Christmas too.


So long ago, on Christmas Eve,

In deep Depression years,

I thought that Santa wouldn’t come,

Yet, I choked back my tears,


I’d chosen from Sears catalog

A doll with real curls,

And longed for her with all my heart –

A trait of little girls.


I dreamed my dreams, as children do,

And hung to hope’s thin thread.

I prayed that doll would soon be mine,

Then snuggled down in bed.


Awaking early Christmas day,

I hurried down the stairs,

And there beneath the Christmas tree

Was the doll of my prayers.


Dressed in yellow organdy,

Trimmed with ribbons and bows,

Stood a doll with real hair

Adorned with satin rose.


This lovely doll of years gone by

Had secrets Mama knew.

I learned them later in my youth,

I swear to you, it’s true.


Mama had taken an old doll

With chipped and painted hair,

Then repainted mouth, cheeks, and ears,

And spots where it was bare.


The darling buttoned oilcloth shoes

That my doll would wear,

Were cut from our big tablecloth,

Each stitch sewn in with care.


She then cut up her best dance gown

To make a ruffled dress,

And what she did about the hair,

I’m sure you’d never guess.


Mama cut off her own chignon,

Which really was quite big,

And fashioned long banana curls,

To make my doll a wig.


This gift my Mother made for me

Was matchless as to price,

But what was priceless, had I known,

Was Mama’s sacrifice.


7/7/88     –   Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


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If I could journey back in time

To Christmas of my past,

I’d gather up the happiness

And hold it very fast.


We didn’t have a lot back then,

But we were unaware

That others had more than us,

For we had much to share.


Each Christmas was a busy time

With many things to do,

And I look back in fondness,

Remembering just a few:


Making stars and paper chains

To compliment our tree,

Checking out our window panes

For frost etched tracery,


Hanging bread and suet balls

On branches that were bare,

Watching snowflakes coat the trees

As birds sought shelter there,


Running out,, all bundled up,

Enjoying winter’s gifts,

Snow-angels made by each of us,

And sliding down big drifts.


We’d all go in, after fun,

And have a special treat –

Hot cocoa near the old wood stove,

While warming hands and feet.


Beautiful carols filled the air,

Prompting us to sing.

There were gifts in colored tissue,

Tied with cotton string.


Mama’s words as she kissed us

And hugged us very tight,

“You’ve all been such good children,

Santa will come tonight.”


Then snuggling down under quilts,

Listening for Santa’s sleigh,

And drifting off in dream-filled sleep

‘Til early Christmas day.


Awaking to threadbare stockings,

Stirring children’s joy …

Filled with oranges, candy, and nuts,

And a small ten-cent toy.


Under the tree, for Sis and I,

Were dolls that Mama dressed.

Each piece of clothing sewn by hand,

Then each piece neatly pressed.


Big brother received a nice game

And strings for his guitar.

Little brother got marbles

And a cast iron car.


We could ask for no improvement

Of such heart-warming joy,

For we were more than satisfied

With candy and a toy.


If I could paint such memories

To help make them last,

I’d view them with a little smile

Each time that I walked past.



12/18/89      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Hang the bells and sprigs of holly

Trim the tree with lights and snow

Pin the stockings on the mantle

Hang a bit of mistletoe


Wrap some gifts in colored tissue

Tie them well with cords of red

Place a candle in the window

Tuck the children into bed


Bake some cookies shaped like Santa

Frost them all in red and white

Make some pies for the dinner

Keep the hearth fires burning bright


Finish all the preparations

Making sure all is done

Bow your head and give HIM thanks . . .



12/16/92       Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


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This is a year we included a Hanukkah celebration, so my great grandchildren could learn about other beliefs.


The house was decorated

Upstairs and down

The kids all shopped here

Instead of downtown

We had bought things on sale

And made a small store

The children enjoyed it

And bought gifts galore

They used paper money

Earned for chores done

And bought token gifts

To give everyone

Sherry helped wrap them

As cute as could be

For the children to place

By their holiday tree

We had brisket for dinner

With latkes and such

It was a great Jewish treat

And we all ate too much

Then we watched “Christmas Story”

‘Bout Ralphie and gang

And we listened to Jacob

As he “played” and sang

Skeeter was happy

About a wee stray cat

She barked hard to scare it

But the cat just sat

Guess I’m quite tired

Hence this silly rhyme

But I wanted to “share”

Our wonderful time

It was fun, but I’m guilty

‘Cause chores I DID shirk

And my daughter upstairs

Did the hard work


12/99      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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A Haiku for the season’s cold




Worm in furry coat


     crawls to sheltered hideaway


          safe from season’s cold



2/16/03           Phyllis VanVleck

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