West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

The Secret of Christmas


Twas just days before Christmas when all through our house,
My Christmas spirit was waning. The same for my spouse.

The nest was half-empty and the kids were full-size.
Twas no one to gaze at the tree with bright eyes.

There was no talk of elves and eight tiny reindeer,
Instead it was: Honey, can you grab me a beer?

Long gone were the days when the magic was glistening,
Instead to our iPods we all were a-listening.

Our days filled with jobs, to-do lists and Facebook,
To the Mayfair Mall Santa, we barely gave a look.

Our discussions focused on college apps and chores,
Honestly, when did we become such bores?

When did the Spirit of Christmas take leave?
When did we silently choose NOT to believe?!

Christmas should be more than a long list of presents.
It’s more than the trees, the lights and the ornaments.

It’s getting together with family and friends.
With those people who love us despite our dead ends.

It’s more than the cards and the long Christmas letter.
It’s more than the egg nog or the ugly Christmas sweater.

It’s love in abundance from those young and old.
It’s letting go of grudges though your heart may be cold.

If we had any chance of reigniting that flame,
We’d have to change our mindset, it could not stay the same.

We’d need to dig deep to find true Christmas spirit.
Perhaps if we listened closely, we’d hear it.

That’s when I decided that Christmas held more,
Than a trip to a mall or some gifts from a store.

I figured out that it’s beyond a retail season.
The secret of Christmas is that LOVE is the reason.

Merry Christmas to all!!

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