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Sarah Torbeck resurrects a silly poem and a letter from Christmas past—as an offering for the coming Christmas season.

[Author’s note: I am famous for my Christmas letters (well, I suppose I’m a legend in my own mind, anyway). The following letter is from 2018, and still remains one of my most famous letters. Things have changed dramatically since I wrote the following letter and poem. I am a widow now, but my faith remains intact and even strengthened. God is ever faithful to this widow’s heart. So! Enjoy, and Merry Christmas! I’ll see you in the New Year.] 

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

For those of you who don’t write Christmas letters (I’m looking at you, daughters of mine), it can be a rather challenging task—especially when the year in review looks more like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and less like a Hallmark Christmas movie. Hence, I thought I would take a different approach to writing our annual Christmas update. 

Therefore, without further ado, I present to you ... for your viewing enjoyment ... 

[cue the echo sound effect] 


A Torbeck Christmas Poem 

'Twas two weeks before Christmas, so the calendar says,
Which means it was time to make haste to the shed. 

To rustle and tussle and shove the kids pool,
Before finally spying the stuff of past Yules. 

“Ho ho!” I cried, as I peered under the shelf,
And giggled a little ... just like the Elf. 

When suddenly a shaft of light burst from the eaves
I thought it was a sign ... but it was actually Steve. 

“Your search might be easier if you turn on the light,”
And he tsked and he smirked, (I hate when he’s right.) 

Undaunted, I turned, and aimed for the mess—
of holly and tinsel in merry excess. 

I grinned while I breezed past my husband’s smug face,
As I hoisted my Rudolph with his nose still in place. 

I raced to and fro dragging garlands and bows,
Then back to the shed for more stars and fake snow.




“You’re going to poop out, if you don’t slow down,”
Yelled my husband while watching me slump to the ground. 

I laid on the ground feeling rather victorious
And marveled at Steve’s gift—for stating the obvious.

 I gazed at the sky which was gathering stars, and thought about life ...
… and the sounds of the cars, 

...which were screeching and stopping in front of my yard
to stare at my plight, but I was unmarred. 

I slowly sat up, and agreed to some selfies,
While Steve calmed the neighbors, and promised them copies. 

The crowds finally cleared, and the neighbors went home,
And I gathered my Yule stuff which had started to roam. 

I finished my tasks, and closed the door to the shed
And knew it was time for my jammies and bed.




I covered myself with thick cover and quilt,
And thought of my house decked out to the hilt.

I smiled to myself, and felt quite accomplished,
When I suddenly realized I’d left something unfinished. 

I sat up in the dark, and gasped with feigned terror,
I’d forgotten to write my most excellent Christmas letter! 

And so dear readers, family and friends,
It’s time to compose my Christmas letter, (before the weekend).



Dear Ones, 

This past year has been challenging. We have lived, laughed, cried and prayed. We hope and believe that all things are possible with God. 

Jordan and Lauren are busy, dedicated and generous with their time and talents. Jordan acquired her MA in Pastoral Ministry and Lauren continues in her roles as wife, mother and Speech Therapist (in that order). She, along with her husband Anders (who was recently promoted!) continue to work together as they effectively meet the challenges and victories of raising my three youngest grandchildren. 

ALL seven grandchildren (Lillian, Anna, Juliette, Brendan, Gwynnie, Joe and Eli) are excellent, wonderful, precocious and positively perfect. They excel in everything. I admit to partiality. I am the consummate Nana. 

Steve and I continue to struggle with his health issues, (he has terminal metabolic liver disease for anyone not on Facebook); but we are ever hopeful, and Steve’s attitude is unflappable. 

We hope this Christmas finds you healthy, happy and always blessed.


... I crept back into bed and turned out the light
When Steve started to mumble and gave me a fright! 

“Your Christmas display is the talk of the town!
But who’s gonna take all that Christmas stuff down?!?” 

May the Lord of Peace be with each of you.



Copyright 2022 Sarah Torbeck
Images: Canva