5 Poems To Read On Christmas Morning

Sean Locke/Stocksy

If you celebrate Christmas with family, then you might be feeling two conflicting emotions this morning: boundless joy, and the desperate desire to get away for a few minutes of quiet solitude with Netflix or a good book. If you can steal away a few minutes before the festivities begin, I suggest reading one of these poems with serious Christmas vibes. I promise, you only need five minutes to get through them.

Christmas can be a difficult holiday. It's over-commercialized. It's capitalist. Between the gifts and the travel and the decorations, it's honestly just really damn expensive. But these poems all cut to the heart of what makes the season so special, despite the stress of choosing presents, buying presents, wrapping presents, and getting yourself to the holiday celebrations with your sanity mostly intact. These poems are a cheerful reminder that Christmas is — to most people — about family, about laughter, about joy, and about coming together around a big tree with sparkling lights to lovingly roast your siblings and drink warm beverages.

No matter how or why you celebrate Christmas, these poems will help you — and your family — get into the spirit of the holiday this year:

“Christmas Card to Grace Hartigan” by Frank O’Hara

"Christmas is the time of cold air

and loud parties and big expense,

but in our hearts flames flicker

answeringly, as on old-fashioned

trees. I would rather the house

burn down than our flames go out."

Read the poem in full.

"& isn't the heart an ampersand" by Aracelis Girmay


like the dark

sign of


but even more

giving, you remind us

of the heart & how

the heart would

rather die than keep

its two dark arms

all to himself;

his life, like our lives,

depend on what

is at his side."

Read the poem in full.

"[little tree]" by e.e. cummings

"look the spangles

that sleep all the year in a dark box

dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,

the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,"

Read the poem in full.

"White Eyes" by Mary Oliver

"I don’t know the name of this bird,

I only imagine his glittering beak

while the clouds—

which he has summoned

from the north—

which he has taught

to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall

into the world below

like stars, or the feathers

of some unimaginable bird..."

Read the poem in full.

"Christmas Laughter" by Nikki Giovanni

"Come first snow the apple cider

with nutmeg … cloves … cinnamon …

and just a hint of ginger

brews every game day and night

We have no problem


Santa Claus

down our chimney

He can’t resist

the laughter"

Read the poem in full.