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By Orv Alveshere


I have Christmas mem’ries where parents gave each, one special gift.
Paying for land and livestock, it was a world of tight thrift.
A brightly wrapped gift to call my own was truly worth the long wait.
We drew fam’ly names.  One gift given and received, we did equate.
Some crops were bountiful, others were meager and days were lean.
Winter was a radiant white, summer crops were a pleasant green.
Something about the long wait with one Christmas gift on the shelf
Put keepsakes in my mind, since, I could open it by myself.

We enjoyed other gifts, sunshine, rain, and pastures lush and green.
The long awaited harvest was like a vast golden scene.
Parents and siblings were gifts, also three square meals on our plate.No shortage of Mother’s love.  It was freely given…and great.
Frolicking newborn calves, princely colts, kittens and pups seemed pristine.
We picked produce and then preserved it from a garden so green.
Our Christmas baking produced some seldom treats for the shelf.
And long waits for that one gift, something picked special for myself.

Repetition and hours of horse training…time for listening and talking.
Trail rides were special.  Neighbors claimed they never saw us walking.
Grain and horses to sell brought income to “AK-N BREAK ACRES”.
More duties include household chores for the ‘home-baked’ bread baker.
From lamps and lantern days to electric switch, when the last light
Was turned off, out in fresh air country, it was a silent night.
Siblings shared their toys.  To play, we could just take them off the shelf.
Christmas giving and joy included opening that one gift by myself.

Awaiting the big day, school and Sunday School made us recite.
We loved winter skiing and skating in a land so bright white.
We drove horses and bobsled for caroling for the townfolk.
I rode a borrowed horse, “Formerly Known as Prince”!  He was well broke.
You haven’t lived til you have skied behind a galloping horse;
A lariat gift was tied to harness hames, then my spirit soars.
Soft falling snow, reflective icicles made me lose myself;
Parents gifts: “Like what you have, don’t wish for more, just be yourself.”

Generosity prevails,  I still donate magazines and books.
American Legion ‘Open Your Heart’, gave me some backward looks.
Regifted clothes, toys, chairs plus gifts that were my creations;
Two dozen toy dump trucks, mixers and cradles.  My donations
Came from lumber yards and paint stores.  All were pictured in a row.
Shop class, assemblers and me,  made toys to make young hearts glow.
I gave gifts to my offspring.  They taught me to laugh at myself.
One child told her teacher, “Dad made toys, so, he must be an ELF.”


© Orv Alveshere, Fargo, ND


Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.