The Spirit of Childhood Happiness: James Adamson


To the Glory of God
To Gwyneth with Love

There was a day in my early teens
that suddenly
the magic of Christmas vanished.
Otherwise I was an implicitly happy child
that time of year.
It is since then that a lesser expectation
has given life
to my thanks for what I get.
And it is since then that I have seen
that there is such a thing
as a spirit of childhood happiness.
It’s not that it actually ever abandons us
it just takes time to hand it off
to children coming along.
Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day dinner
over at the relatives, the tree, the presents,
camaraderie, the stockings, the buying
of presents, the list goes on.
They all continue to be fine
but something ends.
It seems to me that Saint Nick
is that spirit I am referring to.
And it is my growth and maturity
that I have seen that spirit does live.
That He flies across the night sky
behind his reindeer, perhaps without
that nose that is bright enough
to lead the way.
Eternity is enough chance
to revisit Christmas Eve
during every Christmas Eve in creation.
And who would say God
can’t make a reindeer fly with Santa’s sled
I was eight when our neighbor
who was the dad of the household
dressed as Santa
I immediately broke into tears
because he was obviously our neighbor.
I went upstairs crying, insisting
that I was not crying as if
I didn’t know Santa was make belief.
But in review, I was the smart one,
no matter how true it was
about the nature of my tears.
I knew deep down he existed
I still do to this day
even though it reaps little reward
for me to say so.
I have resurrected all the beliefs
I had as a child
I don’t know if you have.
But as I think back to being alone
in the living-room begrudging the
loss of a joyful spirit
I tell myself I will be okay.
As I try to restore happiness
to where people resist it.
As hands throughout time
reach to hold onto those times
of joy and thanks.
Even if an old man like me
needs most of the help.