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Christmas 1974

Two days before Christmas, 1974:
You've got all your pretty Christmas cards spread out on the floor.
From your sisters-­in-­law and your mother's friends who'd come to the wedding back in June.

It was no surprise to any of them that you'd be expecting so soon.
Using your sewing scissors, even though you know it'll make them dull.
Cutting out snowflakes and reindeer, tie a ribbon through a little hole.
You've got a Joni Mitchell record playing on the stereo,
And a second pan of popcorn popping on the stove.

With your little homemade dress,
And your little homemade ornaments,
You were making it up as you went along.
Maybe it was common sense,
To make your own cheerfulness
In that little rented house on a corn and soybean farm.

Take your garden shovel and a five­gallon bucket down the lane.
There's been plenty of snow this winter, and then yesterday it rained.
Half a bucket of gravel oughta be enough to hold the tree up straight.
Then you'll string the popcorn and cut an angel from a paper plate.