What is the Greatest Gift?

What is the Greatest Gift?

by Bobbie Dumas Panek


Christmas memories swirl both joyful and sad

Wanting, sharing, feeling

happy, desperate, jealous

Look what Susie got

Why is Daddy drunk?

There’s no money for presents.

Festive, lavish, displays of

wealth, success, opulence

Tiny candle 


in sparsely furnished room

empty refrigerator

Others wrapped in white

fur: muffs, coats, scarves

caroling, drinking hot chocolate


classmates shiver on

threadbare couches, hungry

Christmas cards 


scenes, a baby honored

kings traveling afar

star bright in the sky

children frolicking in snow

Hallmark, Rockwell

Ah yes, happy homes

for some 


not for all

Crowded cramped apartments

skinny, malnourished children

They don’t make it to the 

front of American Greeting.

What to buy for those who

have everything? Who 

will buy for those who have

nothing? Christmas needs

a reality check...