Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 14

Advent Calendar – Day 14

“Christmas Memories, Christmas Reveries”

Kringle capers,

Crinkling papers,

Clanging choir bells.

Busy streets,

Hanging wreaths,

Roasted chestnut shells.

Jingle bells,

Red pastels,

Frosted windowpanes.

Fire’s glow.

Hot cocoa,

Pulling reindeer reins.

Christmas memories,

Christmas reveries.

Standing under, mistletoe.

Christmas Evening,

Christmas Morning,

Santa always seemed to know.

Season’s greetings,

Family meetings,

Sucking candy canes.

Midnight mass,

Manger grass,

Joining reindeer games.

Christmas Past,

Christmas Present,

Christmas Yet To Come.

Christmas memories,

Christmas reveries,

Thank God, that I have some.

If you liked today’s post, might I suggest taking a look at yesterday’s Advent Calendar Day 13

One of my favorite places, favorite times, and favorite people in the world: Klas Restaurant

Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 13

Advent Calendar – Day 13

The Lord Of The Dance Meets The World Champion Hider

A score of years resides between present day, and when the events of this story actually took place. It’s often hard to process memory within the construct of time, as it truly becomes less reliable the further you get from the event.

However, here are the facts; as I remember them:

1. On Christmas Day, 1996, My father and I each received a ticket to see Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance.

2. The tickets were a gift from my Uncle Mike and Aunt Donna Hickey.

3. They also had tickets for the event.

4. The event was for April 1997, at the Fleet Center, in Boston.

5. My father and I received the tickets as a split gift, which is to say that they were wrapped individually and given to us separately.

6. We were excited to receive the gift.

7. I took the ticket home from my Uncle’s home, and put it on top of my bureau, for safekeeping.

8. My father took his ticket and put it in a special place so that he would not forget where he put it.

9. Five months later, when the time for the event arrived, my Father could not find the ticket, nor remember the special place he put it so he wouldn’t forget it.

10. I gave my Father my ticket, so he could go.

11. After two moves, we still have never been able to find the ticket.

12. When my Father was incapacitated by a stroke, I surely thought his last words would be that he remembered where he put that ticket.

13. It will remain a mystery.

If you enjoyed this post, please take a peek at yesterday’s Advent Calendar Day 12

Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar – 2018: Day 12

Advent Calendar Day 12

“When We Were Immortal”

the sky is immortal
“Immortal Sky” © C.P. Hickey 2017

There was a time when we were immortal.

Fresh, brand new.

Born into youth.

Excited for lazy pleasures and long days.

Summer adventures,


Depending on the strength of the gods surrounding us.

We could do anything and seemed robust.

Time distorted the truth,

and aided in our fall.

What once defied the setting sun,

grew less with each passing year.

Until, finally the world swallowed the moments whole.

There was a time high on the mountain,

when living seemed forever.

It was remarkable, but short lived.

Today marks the bittersweet anniversary of my maternal Uncle Kevin’s death. He is sorely missed, and I do my best to honor his memory as much as I can. I’ve added some links below to other poems and posts related to him, that I’ve written in the last year. It think it only fitting that he makes the ProCrasstheNation 2018 Advent Calendar. When I think of an Advent Calendar, I think of looking forward to something, and now in a sense, looking back. There was a lot of mystery behind Uncle Kev’s doors. He was easy to know, but at times kept his cards close to the vest. Thinking fondly of the many ways in which he enriched my life. He lived a life of patience and tact, and used these talents to teach his young niece and nephew game theory, or as he called it “STRAGEDY” There is many a night when I look at an empty cribbage board and smile within the glow of the memory it brings forth. There are many gifts in life that we are lucky enough to receive, but it is entirely true, that the gift of time is the most precious. Kev gave us as much time as we needed or wanted. 

If you liked this post…perhaps these might appeal to you as well:  New England Giant, POEMVEMBER 2018-DAY 8: “A GIANT AMONG MEN”


Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 11

Advent Calendar – Day 11

SONY WM-F73: FM/AM Stereo Cassette Player (1987)

Image Link

Some time ago, circa 1988, I was gifted my first pair of SONY WM (Walkman). This yellow beauty right here in the picture above. I’m pretty sure my Mother picked it up at Boston Sound

which was located on Tremont Street, about ten blocks north of my High School, Don Bosco Tech.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my Mother was quite a savvy shopper. I’d be surprised if she hadn’t got them on sale.

What was particularly interesting about this Christmas Gift, was that it was not something I asked for.

Some of the ladies at my Mother’s work were getting them for their kids, so she went out on a limb and grabbed them for me.

I’m glad she did. I had never had portable music to that point. It was a wonderful gift, which I never knew I wanted, but soon couldn’t be parted from.

When I think of how easy it is to access entertainment content these days by simply downloading it to a device, I wax nostalgic for a chunky device run by non-rechargeable batteries, that you had to insert the magnetic content into directly in order to play music.

There was no cloud, you had to keep a series of “tapes” in your pockets, if you wanted to hear particular albums.

I’m pretty sure I had Genesis, Hall &Oates, Def Leppard, and Phil Collins on rotation.

This was but a sampling of the soundtrack of my life. I plugged in, and walked back and forth from my home on Medford Street, to my corner “gang” on a Pearl Street.

I don’t think I ever told my Mother how much I appreciated that freedom and sensibility.

It was a turbulent time of learning to leave childhood, and forge ahead into youngmandom.

Ya done good, Ma. Ya done good.

Whenever I wear headphones these days, I often think of my first pair of WM. A truly great Christmas Gift, which I never knew I wanted, but I truly loved.I think of that, and of my Mother shuffling back and forth from the admissions office to the Emergency Ward at MGH. While wearing her own headphones and jamming to Lionel Richie’s “Can’t Slow Down”. She’d travel her own turbulent times over those years, but that is for another blog’s consideration.

A happy Christmas memory resides in a song every time I hear it…

“Everybody sing, everybody dance
Lose yourself in wild romance, we going to
Parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
We’re going to parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along

All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), ooh yeah (all night)”
If you enjoyed today’s post, please take a look back at Advent Calendar Day 10
Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 10

Advent Calendar – Day 10


What were you expecting from Advent Calendar Day 10? If you said Christmas Pajamas, well you hit the stripe on the candy cane. Christmas Eve Pajamas is another one of the things on the list of my Mother’s enduring Christmas legacies.

Every year, we were allowed to open one gift and one gift only on Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve PJs.

As you can see above, my sister was scheduled to stay with the Ingalls Family in Minnesota for Christmas. While I was scheduled to go to Starfleet Academy after the Epiphany. Get a load of me with those fuzzy blue and red slippers. I was at the ready to kick the face of any burglars that broke into our apartment and was able to get through my extensive network of jump rope, fishing line, and slinky booby traps (Goonies, and Indiana Jones were revelations for me, I wanted to skillfully evade and set booby traps as my career).

In a somewhat related anecdote, my Sister and I schemed to lay a booby trap for our unsuspecting Father. One time, many years ago, we stretched a land-line telephone cord until it was taut,  across his bedroom door. We then hid in his closet but made a shitload of noise in order to draw him upstairs. After some trying, and several faux cries, he came up over the staircase like a madman, and tripped over our booby trap and fell onto the bed. We laughed like hyenas.  Luckily, we were bastids, but not terrible bastids. After he composed himself, he punished us accordingly. I can’t help but think that despite his anger, that he held some pride for our mischief. You see, Dad was a mischief-maker from way back. I know how hard it is to not laugh at my children’s audacity, as I continually find myself wanting to laugh at the things they do, when the situation requires a more adult response.

If you liked what was behind today’s door…perhaps you’d be interested in what’s behind Day 9’s door. Take a peek here 🙂

Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 8

Advent Calendar – Day 8

“Toddler Proof Tree” ©️ C.P. Hickey 2018

“Toddler Proof Tree”

Toddler proof tree,

Fragile free.

Ornaments up for safekeeping.

Paper, plush,

Soft to touch,

No broken glass sweeping.

One more year,

Or maybe two,

Before it’s safe for all.

Next year,

Glass ornaments for sure,

When we deck the halls.

If you like todays post, please take a peek at Advent Calendar Day 7

Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 7

Advent Calendar – Day 7


“Founding Fathers”

Immemorial foundations,

Adjacent to other lives,

Reaching backward and ever forward,

Cheating death, one at a time.

Somewhere on a continuum,

Adjacent to other lives,

I learned I had a father.

Of a father, for a time.

Somewhere on my timeline,

Adjacent to other lives,

I learned to be a father.

As a father, borrowed time

Some far off distant future,

Adjacent to other lives,

My sons, once of a father.

Will perpetuate more life.

If you liked this post, please take a look at the last one…Advent Calendar Day 6

Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 6

Advent Calendar – Day 6

“Winter Wonderland”

If our Mom was the architect of Christmas Giftery, then my Father was the architect of our Holiday Esthetic. The most joy I get from Christmas, comes from decking the halls with my family. This is due to the legacy and sincerity of a highly creative man, that did his best with what we had.

We grew up not knowing we were poor. We weren’t as bad off as some, but we shared some hard times. Over the course of my childhood, my Father got laid off from work a couple of times, and my Mother didn’t work until the mid to late 80’s. If not for family support and friends we could have gone another way.

My parents worked hard and gave their all to us. Christmas was a time we appreciated the pleasures of life from good food, to good company, and even gifts. It may be a little known fact that my Dad put in eight hour days, then would go to the Sears Roebuck Fulfillment Center and work the evening into night filling orders for the people who ordered things from the Sears Wish Catalogues. We made many wishes over those pages, and most of them came true for us.

I wonder now what was going through his mind then, as he walked up Boylston Street past the Ramrod, WBCN Studios, and Fenway Park to report to the Landmark Center area to report for duty. It must have been hard doing that. I get tired just doing seven hour days. Most nights and weekends I’m exhausted, but somehow all those years ago my Dad found the energy to come home and become an Alchemist; turning our ordinary apartment into a Golden Winter Wonderland.

My father had a wonderful eye, and had trained in drafting and architecture. He chose to defer his architectural dreams, when I came along. Despite having shelved that piece of himself, it never really left him.

He could scheme, get materials, craft them into hundreds of parts, and then assemble them together to carry out his vision. A lot of folks that knew my Dayd may have underestimated his ability. Where they might have seen aloofness in certain instances, it was actually calculated concentration and patience. He could stare at something for hours on end finding the esthetic he wanted to bring out of the object. For the entirety of my life, he assisted me in every school project, and any endeavor I asked for help in, which was a lot. But my point is simply that we failed to recognize a dormant talent, that was smothered by the vagaries of daily life. That was of course, excepting Christmas. Christmas presented an opportunity for him to showcase all the things that made him tick.

In the above photo you will notice the walls were covered in aluminum foil. This was done to enhance the lighting effect of the Christmas Tree in our living room, as well as add a level of depth to our small apartment. He gave us the gift of another world in which we could dream our Christmas Dreams. Stuffing orders at night for Sears, and then coming home and using an Exacto knife to cut out cardboard snowflakes, use a glitter glue pen to decorate them, and then affix a paperclip to a hole on one end and hang it from the suspended ceiling.

The run-up to Christmas was full of anticipation and excitement not only for what we hoped we might get from Santa, but because there was always a proper theater ready for his arrival, in which Santa could ply his trade when he opened his sack.

We were lucky to live such childhoods, and to have such parents.

As I grew older, my Father would shift some responsibility to us and allow us to do certain aspects of the decorating. We would excel at some things and not do so well in others. But, the result was a niggling feeling that would crop up as we got close to every Thanksgiving, and carry on throughout the Holidays. We improved year by year, had our own families, and developed our own strategies of decorating steeped in the foundational mastery of a modest but talented man.

My absolute favorite thing to do with my Father during the decorating, was to assist him with the stringing of the lights. We tested the lights once when we took them out of the box by plugging them in, but then we didn’t turn them on again until they were all in their appropriate places. Once the arrangements were made, we would put on Christmas tapes and turn out the lights. Then if I was lucky, or if my Sister was lucky, we would be called upon to put the plug into the outlet.

The initial lighting of the season could not be topped. We would sit for moments at a time, staring at the scene while being enamored by being transported to a magical kingdom of wonder and delight.

We would listen to Perry Como, or Nat King Cole, or Dean Martin sing sweetly and solemnly. In a quiet moments, perhaps the most quiet moments, I would look at my Father’s eyes as he surveyed the room and the magic he created, and in those moments I lived the joy of Christmas. I discovered the feeling of being with family and sharing accomplishment and satisfaction, and realizing that no matter how plain something was to begin with, you could always improve it with a little patience, and imagination.

If you liked this post, please take a look at the last one…Advent Calendar Day 5

If anyone is in the Metro Boston tomorrow night,  please consider joining me, and my best friend, the West Coast Bandit, and now my favorite second cousin, Jack, as we attend a night full of entertainment for a great cause at: Don’t Forget Your Art!

I performing a piece that means a lot to me. You should really come by and see if the poem is about you. How will you ever know if you aren’t there? Are you willing to take that chance? I wouldn’t, I’d definitely be there, just in case.

Advent Calendar 2018

Advent Calendar 2018: Day 5

Advent Calendar – Day 5



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“Giving ‘Til It Hurts”


Consumer culture misrepresents,

All the season’s sentiments.

No overhead, these online stores,

deliver quick to unwatched doors.

Same day service,

Cutting out all the stores.

More! More! More!

The crazy deranged whackaloons,

Wait for email: COMING SOONS!

No middle man, but twice the fun.

Four for two, or two for one.

Coupon codes, sales receipts,

Inbox spam, or spammy Tweets.

Lining up to wait for “IT”,

Just adding to our pile of shit,

Without an afterthought.

Throw it out next December.

That is if you do remember,

Consumer culture feeds into itself.

I have no trouble understating,

Charges keep accumulating,

Interest, hand over fist.

If you find yourself inclined,

Give to others,

a gift of time.

And leave the pursuit of materials,

To those sold easily,

To those sold easily,

To those sold easily,

on empty pursuit.



If you liked this post, please take a look at the last one…Advent Calendar Day 4

If anyone is in the Metro Boston this Friday, December 7th, please consider joining me, and my best friend, the West Coast Bandit, and now my favorite second cousin, Jack, as we attend a night full of entertainment for a great cause at: Don’t Forget Your Art!

I performing a piece that means a lot to me. You should really come by and see if the poem is about you. How will you ever know if you aren’t there? Are you willing to take that chance? I wouldn’t, I’d definitely be there, just in case.