This time of year we hear many wonderful songs that help us to celebrate the Christmas and Holiday season. Take a line from one to these songs, spiritual or secular, and make it the theme/title/line in your poem.


If you have the means

to be good for goodness sake,

for goodness sake, be!


(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014


  1. And I have to love this prompt, because when I finally wrote my Terzanelle late yesterday, it was based on a Christmas carol. So this responds to both prompts:


    Joy to the world
    The Lord is come
    God’s love to men unfurled

    Through the days excitement thrums
    The message springs from every tongue
    The Lord is come

    Angels’ wings, their stars far-flung
    Order restored, all creatures sing
    The message springs from every tongue

    To the God-man tribute bring
    Possessions, loves, lives–our all
    Order restored, all creatures sing

    Sin’s hold, a broken wall
    Holy glory on display
    Possessions, loves, lives–our all

    The baby sleeps on bed of hay
    Joy to the world
    Holy glory on display
    God’s love to men unfurled

  2. The Holly and the Ivy

    The holly and the ivy
    Green leaves and berries bright
    Decorate our windows
    Cheerful is the sight.

    Dark is the world outside our door
    Clouds have hid the stars
    Inside love and friendship’s glow
    Brighten winter’s hours.

  3. O, Come All Ye Faithful

    A Christmas song
    Sung once a year.
    The words become
    So very dear,

    That once a year
    Is not enough
    To adore the Lord
    For His great love.

    O, Come let us adore Him,
    Christ the Lord!


    Let it snow. Let it snow.
    Your wallet’s out of dough.
    When Christmas passes by
    You parents breathe a sigh
    And wonder how you’ll pay
    For toys your children play.
    Again you’re in the hole.
    you’d sell your very souls
    To outdo last year’s gifts.
    You ought to practice thrift.


  5. A Christmas Medley

    I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
    Underneath the mistletoe last night
    She’d been drinkin’ too much egg nog…
    Santa baby, just slip a sable
    under the tree for me;
    Been an awful good girl, Santa baby
    Come and trim my Christmas tree
    With some decorations bought at Tiffany.

    I just snickered cause I could see
    it was just my dad underneath that beard
    and I whispered as I fled to bed

    Kiss her once for me
    Have a holly jolly Christmas.
    It’s the most wonderful time
    It’s the most wonderful time
    of the year!

    Lines (except for the middle three) from:
    “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
    “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
    “Have a holly jolly Christmas”
    “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

  6. Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.
    That’s why we hang our Christmas lights
    To declare the glory of that special night
    Baby born to make the world right

    Hark the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn king
    Now we hear the bells ring
    As we hang our bells and bling

    Angels we have heard on high
    And heard of gifts from the magi
    Gold, frankincense, and myrrh,
    Celestial signs did occur

    Heavenly choir to herald his birth
    Shepherds and flocks to bring him mirth
    Kings came from the end of the earth
    Because they had heard of His worth

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  8. A Found Tanka

    Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

    Oh – beautiful star
    over mountains light the path
    lamp to lead the way,
    beautiful star – hope of life
    beauty divine – hope of grace.

    (Lines found and arranged by Hannah Gosselin)

  9. Cold Day in the City

    On a cold New York City day,
    scents from sidewalk vendors
    mingle, tickle my nose.
    Chestnuts roasting
    on an open fire,
    soft, salted pretzels
    with dark brown mustard,
    and hot peanuts with
    a burnt sugar aroma,
    all suggest the season.

    Red Salvation Army buckets,
    Santas ringing bells,
    and stories unfolding
    in animated display,
    front the windows along
    Fifth Avenue.

    On a cold New York City day,
    warmth can be found on every corner.


    In spite
    of ice and snow,
    disappointments will melt
    whenever and wherever love
    can glow.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    There were hoofbeats and tinsel and gauze
    and it seemed that they came without pause;
    it all passed in a flash,
    like the train less the crash:
    it could only have been Santa Claus.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    Careless Carol was fond of bell ringing
    but others despaired of her singing;
    so tuneless was she
    that she spread misery
    with a voice that was screechy and stinging.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    My opinion I hereby redact
    and, although you might choose to refract,
    I am long in the tooth
    and have spoken a truth
    that I neither repent nor retract.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    There are lights in the house, and their glow
    casts a gleam of soft gold on the snow,
    and in mind’s eye I spy
    generations thereby,
    all completing the family tableau.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  15. Still, Still, Still

    The moon reflects off whitened ground,
    in iridescent, steady streams
    and here, amid the silent sound,
    the snowflakes waltz upon its beams.

    For one brief moment, all is calm
    eclipsing all the worldly woes.
    With mankind touched by soothing balm,
    upon the earth, a yearning flows

    to melt the frost from undue hate.
    When words are joined with thoughts and deeds,
    the frozen fields could generate
    a harvest rich from yuletide seeds.

    Yet hope alone won’t lessen fear
    with silent nights and moonlit beams.
    Beyond the season’s short-lived cheer,
    may peace on earth be more than dreams.

    © Susan Schoeffield

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  17. On a City Sidewalk (A Christmas Cento)

    People hurry
    through the frozen streets
    meeting smile after smile,
    echoing the joyous strains
    of children laughing,
    sleigh bells in the snow.
    His favorite time of year
    was always Christmas;
    today’s celebration
    is bittersweet,
    a hurting human soul
    waiting in a silent prayer,
    and in the midst of the laughter,
    he cries.

    Lines borrowed from: Take a Walk Through Bethlehem, Silver Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High, White Christmas, It Won’t Be the Same This Year, Alone on Christmas, My Grown Up Christmas List, Breath of Heaven, Pretty Paper

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