My mother always gave me underwear for Christmas. She did this until I was thirty-five years old, the year before she died. I think it was her way of reminding me that she was “mom,” no matter how old I was. She would give me other presents, too, but I could always count on some new Hanes briefs and V-neck t-shirts.
In 1986, I was asked to contribute a Christmas poem to the Azalea City News and Review, a fine weekly newspaper published in Mobile, Alabama, where I lived then. Of all Christmas poems, stories, books, songs, movies, dioramas, printed reminiscences and TV shows, I had never seen one that focused on underwear, so I decided to make my own mark in the holiday tribute genre with that topic.
My mother and step-father lived just across Mobile Bay in Montrose, Alabama when the poem was published. Mom was beside herself to be referenced in print and took the paper to the drug store, restaurants and the beauty shop to show her friends. I’m glad she liked it and I hope you will enjoy it, too. Remember, snow is not the only thing that can give you a White Christmas.
Christmas is Always WhiteIt’s Christmas when I’m given Many things I’d never buy A drug store gift cologne set A green and yellow tie No matter how mundane the gifts Impractical or bold My mother always saves the day With something I can fold Mom always gives me underwear It looks so nice and white The new stuff always lasts me All the way to New Year’s Night Then I have to wash it all And put it in a drawer With all my other skivvies Which were washed and worn before But memories of opening The box of virgin cloth Last me many lonely moments As the new wears off So, Mom, I’d like to thank you For making Christmas bright You always give me underwear And Christmas is always white
Text and photos copyright 1986, 2012 by Les Kerr. Visit Les Kerr’s web site at www.leskerr.com