I hosted a virtual Christmas party in my membership program, Your Platform Matters (YPM).
At the party I encouraged a writing exercise: Christmas Reflections.
I asked these writers to close their eyes and go back in time to a warm and wonderful Christmas memory from their childhood.
Rather than trying to capture a big, sprawling scene, I asked them to zero in on a detail. Using the one-inch frame Anne Lamont talks about in Bird by Bird, they narrowed their focus to a detail that they could see, smell, taste, touch, or hear.
We captured those multi-sensory, concrete, specific details in words and phrases, dropping them in the Zoom chat.
What a quiet, creative gift it was to share those memories with each other, to go back in time, to reflect…to write.
After the party sendoff, I assembled the snapshot memories (with their permission) to create a free verse poem:
Popcorn captured on strings strung on the tree,
Mom, sis, and I around kitchen table, molding memories out of salt dough ornaments.
Snowed in with guests,
ice skating on the road,
fluffy snowflakes falling on faces,
magic in the night sky.
Carols around the old upright piano—
the twinkle in his eye bounced off his rosy cheeks as his
family sang the familiar tune.
sparkling crystal necklace
reaching and hitting the high notes.
Candles glimmered in hands lighting evening darkness.
The lonely ceramic clown tucked in the Nativity scene—
family humor nestled amidst the holy.
I bend pipe cleaner arms around tree branch—
the hand-crafted felt mouse smiles back at me.
In the midst of the darkness
we sat in the puddle of light from the tree.
Wrapping paper rustling in the night.
Excited anticipation waiting at the top of the stairs,
kitchen breakfast smells wafting up to us:
bacon, sausage, cinnamon buns.
We tiptoed down the stairs,
our slippers silencing our steps.
Cookies set out for Santa—only crumbs in the morning.
Fireplace crackling—Santa’s in the kitchen!
Afraid of men with beards, I was assured that
Santa Claus was gone.
Shiny blue bicycle.
Silver blue-tinted ball ornament.
The young girl looking back at me
through the ornament’s reflection
was full of joyful smiles.
Surrounded by the rapidly torn wrapping paper—
My fingers swiftly undid the twist ties
so I could stroke the loop braids
of my doll come to life from my favorite books.
Are we there yet? rang from the backseat.
Grandma’s house full of warm laughter.
Wrapped in blankets on the floor
playing the Authors card game
the world was clear and bright.
Take a moment to try this yourself.
Close your eyes and capture that one-inch square of a warm and wonderful Christmas memory from your childhood.
Share it in the comments below. I want to go back in time with you to see, smell, and hear your Christmas reflection.
We so enjoyed the magic of creating this in community. I hope you find your writing community, as well. You’re always welcome to be part of Your Platform Matters!
Merry Christmas from the writers of YPM—and from me!
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