The one I keep remembering is odd
I’m not sure why it stands out quite this way
The details aren’t clear now in my mind
But the feeling is still there, as bright as day
It was a velvet poster, you know the ones?
All black and fuzzy but for the design?
A little pack of pens to color with?
A premade masterpiece to make all mine.
I know those things are common nowadays
You buy them for two dollars, three for five
But this was maybe 1987?
When velvet made it good to be alive.
I got it Christmas Eve, which wasn’t normal
At a party that our good friends always threw
A family friend had given it to me
A small gift for a child, the way you do
So here’s the moment printed in my mind
We’re driving home, the car is dark, it’s late
I’m in the back and holding that new gift
My fingers stroke the velvet like it’s fate
I’m perfectly happy
Both contented and thrilled
Though tomorrow is Christmas
My heart’s already filled
Why a velvet poster of all things?
The chance to create beauty with no skill?
Or maybe just that it was unexpected?
Or that I could use it up and have it still?
In any case it was a Christmas moment
Whatever the psychology behind it
That childhood joy we talk so much about?
That’s one of the weird things that helped me find it
It’s such a random thing, though, don’t you think?
There’s no way that my parents could have known.
They probably had bought me something better
No doubt I loved it, but the memory’s flown
That’s just the way of Christmas (and of life)
Contentment that complete cannot be forced
If I give a velvet poster to my daughter
It won’t replicate the magic joy, of course
Instead, I do what my own parents did
I make a life of joy and friends and fun
I let go of expectation (or I try)
And when those moments come, well then, they come