My thirty-five white Christmases

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.

The poem as it appeared in the Azalea City News & Review, December, 1986

The poem as it appeared in the Azalea City News & Review, December, 1986

Christmas is Always White

It’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

Click photo to view Les Kerr’s online CD and download catalogue.


About Les Kerr

Les Kerr is a songwriter, recording artist, journalist and author originally from the Gulf Coast now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn More about Les at
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4 Responses to My thirty-five white Christmases

  1. Bob Osterhout says:

    Les, I always enjoy your Liner Notes but this one brings fond memories of my mother.
    She also gave me white skivvies at Christmas for many years but not 35.

  2. Suzy Bennett says:

    What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

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