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Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:Inspirational & Religious
  • Language:English
  • Pages:146
  • eBook ISBN:9781098333058
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098333041

Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald's and Other Poems

by Maren Tirabassi

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This book of poetry for the Christmas Season tells stories of ordinary lives – putting wooden trains around the tree with a three year old boy and hanging an ornament with a ninety-five year old grandma, learning that the little girl who wore her "Belle" dress to play the Bethlehem star has been deported and finding a way to tie a mask on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, discovering that "Blue" Christmas is less a religious service than baking the cookies a friend used to give as gifts, and realizing the images of this season, both from Christian scripture, such as "manger" or "magi," and the secular world, such as "Scrooge" or "the Grinch" lead us to care for the most vulnerable. Every year at Advent, we are not the same people we were a year earlier. The coronavirus pandemic and the United States struggle for racial justice in 2020 made that clear. Every December, some of us will have greeted new children, some will have grieved dear friends, and all of us will have experienced hope and sadness. Christmas will come anyway in precious and ordinary ways. This book hopes to tell that story.


A number of years ago I experienced a bun and run Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s before rushing off to lead a candlelight service at the New Hampshire church I was pastoring. Sitting alone, I watched the young workers and a few other diners filled with anticipation and longing to get where they wanted to be that night. I included that poem as the holiday piece in an earlier book. I’ve written many Advent, Christmas and Epiphany poems since that evening, and when I looked over my work to gather new poems for this volume that would eventually include as diverse a “menu” as a personal path through Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and reflections on Narnia, Silent Night, and the work of Howard Thurman for the pandemic, I realized that the criteria for choosing would be that night with the thick shake, fries and a view into other lives. I hope these remind us that our unexpected journeys through sadness and silliness, din and distractions end in a place of hope with road dust on our feet and star dust in our hair.

About the author
Maren C. Tirabassi is the author of twenty-one books, including Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald's and Other Poems, a short story collection The Shakespeare Reader and other Christmas Tales and many books of faith published by The Pilgrim Press, most recently A Child Laughs: Prayers of Justice and Hope. She is online at the WordPress poetry and global worship blog

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