Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Festivus For the Rest of Us

I am a firm believer that my family is probably one of the funniest in the United States. Every Christmas I try to write a poem that captures some of their idiosyncrasies, quirks, and foolish decisions/behaviors/personalities. I hope these give you a glimpse as to why: 1) my family is awesome and 2) the standard "stupid picture Christmas Eve" seems perfectly normal.

"I Liked Last Year’s Better…"

Although it’s been a tough year for a number of different reasons,
We must remember the goodness that seems heightened during the holiday season.
Goodness in the form of puppies, family, new babies, and friends,
Each reminding us that laughter is okay and that hearts are supposed to mend.

So while Mom didn’t give me dancing fodder for the typical Christmas ditty,
I decided to just reflect on a few holiday memories that have made us a bit giddy.
From the classy (and always reverent) pictures taken on those chilly Christmas Eve nights,
To the unwanted guest debacle that quite nearly caused a heartwarming little fist fight.

Let’s start with 206 Virginia Avenue, an abode of great lore.
The home of the multifunctional Santa houseshoe is rarely a bore.
There will be paper plates in the dishwasher and china in the tree;
10 pm, Grandma remains locked in the bathroom with the fruits of her shopping sprees.

Although the blessing will be a step up from anything by Mom or Sherry,
The Turner Christmas is not quite a simple celebration of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.
For it is gluttony in the form of appetizer and post-it note obsession;
We all relish Mama’s descriptions of the panties, mini-lotions, and socks now in our possession.

It is the immediate family get-togethers, however, that have produced the most memorable Christmas fun;
For Adrienne dancing with walnuts on her eyes indisputably brings joy to everyone.
Dad will hit up Grider “Antiques” the morning just before the big day,
While Mom, Ralphy, and Kenny G keep tradition alive and any sadness at bay.

A wreath on the P.T. Cruiser and twinkling lights in every tree,
Turner Farm simply embodies the Christmas spirit as any passerby could see.
We should thus all feel blessed to be a member of this incredibly funny Nunn/Turner clan,
So charge your camera batteries and put a drink in your hand.

“Music consumes my soul”

Writing Christmas poems is the equivalent of selecting the perfect birthday card.
Will it be a badass mustache or the wispy daisies sprouting in the yard?
Standing in Walgreens or typing on the bed in the one room to which the pups and I have been confined,
I frustratingly debate the all-important question, should I leave sentimentality or stupidity behind?

For Christmas is the time of the year when expectations loom intimidatingly static,
Poems don’t freely ebb and flow like the valuable necessities carefully organized in Jackie’s attic.
Twenty four years ago Glenn Frey skyrocketed to fame for his ditty in Beverly Hills Cop.
“The heat is on,” continues to haunt me a mere twenty four hours before the rib roast drops.

So here we sit, Luce, the Pickle, and me, looking for inspiration in all that we see.
But, alas, the bull-wearing-a-scarf cookie jar or the tipsy glass bunny aren’t really doing it for me.
I am Pat Benatar and I desperately plea for motivation to hit me with its best shot.
I look to the sky, hoping a pseudo Star of Bethlehem will untangle this creative knot.

Then suddenly it happens, the object of intrigue that will frame this annual literary gift.
In my periphery I see a blue streak of hoopie delight which causes my spirits to lift.
“That’s it!” I proclaim, opening my computer, and deviously running Christmas songs through my mind.
Billy superimposed into the Twelve Days of Christmas, a poetic gem, a joyous metaphoric find.

So the fruits of this year’s labor now take a decidedly different turn.
Rhyming mediocrity is finished, yet the rhythm inside my soul continues to burn.
I must “bring it,” therefore, just as Adrienne did for Western’s Mr. Powell.
No applause needed, but get prepared to be wowed.

"Fred’s Really Came Through This Year"

Who doesn’t need a singing sensor-based reindeer from Fred’s?
“What an important question,” the procrastinating muse of Christmas poems once said.
Walk behind and you’d never realize the secret talents the hoofer possessed,
Inversely proportionate to a mullet, it is the front that marks success.

“Where else could this poem go?” You are, probably for good reason, asking.
Will she bring up Charlie Daniels’ Facebook account or the Macy’s multitasking?
Maybe she’ll go on and on about details for which no one cares in the least,
making sure we all feel put-out and annoyed over the course of the Christmas feast.

Nah, perhaps she’ll do some reflection on the meaning of family and friends
Singling out each dinner guest with an ode to the love they foster and tend.
Isabella is pure joy even if she is the roughest sweet pea in the pod,
Her daddy, a man who introduced me to the word “moobs” and who has a brother named Todd.

Isabella’s momma, now there’s a complicated lady.
The only Turner around who secretly loathes precious, innocent, sweet, little Sadie,
The one who has encouraged flu shots to all near and far
Yet, a mother whom I respect and whose devotion will never be marred.

Now, we can’t forget ole Adrienne, the blue-collar laborer of the clan,
All-too-aware that papers don’t write themselves even in the best laid plans.
Copier, cheat, mischievous scalawag if you will,
Or, the vice mayor of Corntown who rules with unyielding zeal.

Last, but certainly not least, the spirited leader of the pack,
JNT embodies all that is Christmas as a matter of fact.
Whether decorating for 68 hours straight or baking bourbon balls for known alcoholics,
She creates an atmosphere of holiday perfection, one dorks might call warmly bucolic.

Oh wait, there’s one more who it seems I have left out
The big guy sitting beside me of which I have no doubts,
He, to his credit, sometimes reminds me of dad, witty, honest and handy
No shock where this one is going….his name is indeed Andy.

So, the poem that started with a Fred’s clearance reindeer finally comes to a close,
Deep in meaning and substance, so the story goes.
Maybe next year I’ll put pen to paper a few days before Christmas Eve,
And create a heartwarming poetic quilt that I’ll be proud to have weaved. …

Until then, though, you get moobs and far-too-obvious name rhyming. I love you all very much. Merry Christmas 2010.


  1. I always look forward to hearing those thought provoking poems. Seriously, I do not know how you manage to capture the fun and love we share during that special time of year. I really mean it when I say we are such a lucky family, and I feel so fortunate to be the mom to such wonderful daughters.

  2. Not nearly as proud as I am to be your daughter!