Christmas Poem 2013: When Christmas Changes


My tradition of writing an original Christmas poem lives on, friends. After losing my mom unexpectedly on October 21st because of injuries she sustained in a car accident, I didn’t know if I’d be able to write a Christmas poem this year. I usually write my poem in October or early November to help take the pressure off closer to the holidays, but could I do that this year? I could write a poem about grief, but one about Christmas? I wasn’t so sure about that.

God is good, though. When I turned to him for help, he graciously gave it. Just eight days after Mom went home to heaven, God helped me write the poem below. I pray it holds just the message that someone needs to hear this holiday season.

I’ll be taking a blogging break until the first of the year—unless I hop on here to share a photo. May you enjoy sweet times with loved ones and have a truly blessed celebration of our Savior’s birth, my friends. Enjoy the poem—and see you in 2014!

     When Christmas Changes

Christmas looks different to me this year
Maybe to you as well,
Life’s changes have me looking back
Have me caught in nostalgia’s spell.

Yearning for sweet times gone by
My memories become treasure,
I’ll savor and safe-keep them
For future joy and pleasure.

And though my heart may ache with loss
While looking back today,
I’ll turn my eyes to Jesus Christ
I’ll look to Him and say:

“Christmas on earth may change, my Lord,
But You are forever the same,
My Savior, my Friend, my Comfort, my Guide,
Ever worthy of worship and praise.”

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NIV

*In loving memory of my mother, Charlene Hoy.

*Have you gone through a year when Christmas changed for you? How did God help you?

*Flickr photo by State Farm, Creative Commons License


  1. Elece Hollis says

    This year has definitely been a life changer for me. (Every year should be, I suppose.). This January our oldest daughter, our prodigal, came back to us and to God and to her faith and her home. We went to the border of Mexico to rescue her and her four little children under six years old, who all spoke Spanish. So five people were added to my quiet house suddenly. By September we had found and remodeled a house for them, moved them in, and they are doing fine. It was a difficult,exhausting, stressful, financially traumatizing, stretching, painful, joy-filled, sweet and totally wonderful year.

  2. Our Christmas will be different this year. This is the first time that our older boys won’t be here on a long Christmas break. I imagine we’ll see them Christmas day, but not much beyond that. It all feels a little strange to me – living in a new home with less family around me. Anyway, I love your Christmas poems, Cheryl. A gift to all of us. Thanks.

    • So glad you enjoy my Christmas poems, Elaine — what a blessing to hear. Hope your changing dynamic at home goes okay this Christmas holiday. Always a tough adjustment when we have to let go of long-standing traditions with our kids. Blessings to you all!

  3. Jennifer Dougan says

    I’ve been thinking about you this month, Cheryl, as you grieve your mom. I imagine this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas has its own ache in her absence.

    Praying for you, thinking of you from snowy MN tonight, and this month,

    Jennifer Dougan

  4. Cheryl – This first Christmas will be difficult for you and your family without your Mom. You have been in my thoughts. I love how you recognize your grief, challenges, loss and changes in your lovely poem. May memories of Christmas past give you strength this Christmas time, and bring you peace as you remember happy times. Thinking of you and your family,

    • Mairead, thanks so much for remembering me and my family. We do indeed have lots of happy times to remember. So thankful for that — and so thankful for our Savior who is walking through this tender season with us. Appreciate you and your message of comfort!

  5. What a beautiful poem – I had tears in my eyes as I read it. I have also been thinking of you throughout this Christmas season. I am sure this was a tough one for you and your family, but remembering the fun times helped I am sure. This year has been a different one for me as well. I did not have all our boys with us for Christmas morning for the first time. It felt so strange.
    We had several things over the year that affected our family, but I saw God presence in them all and joy and blessings came out of all of them.

    • Nanette, so glad you enjoyed the poem. I so appreciate you remembering me and my family during this holiday season. We have indeed had sadness to deal with, but God has blessed us with happy times as well. Sounds like you had some adjustments to deal with, too. May God continue to bless you and yours!

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