Friday, December 12, 2014


It's Day 73 of kindergarten and in some ways our large paper calendar grid and all the ways we mark it are routine--and yet for many 5-year-olds, time and its rate of passing remain mysterious.  Yesterday Eliana was the Afternoon Leader, whose job it is to write the date, continue the pattern, and add a straw and a penny and a dot on the ten-frame to count the days of school.

I have the holidays matter-of-factly marked on the calendar but am politely declining to engage in any conversations about Santa, etc.  Just as for most of October and Halloween, I keep remarking that it's still a lot of days until Winter Break--it's not "almost Christmas yet in Room 166," and we don't have an elf on the shelf.  But next week we'll start our Gingerbread Man work and I won't be able to hold it off any longer! 

At dismissal as she waited to be picked up, Eli considered the calendar and said, with a question in her voice, "My sister says it's almost Christmas."


My sister says
it's almost Christmas,
almost, nearly,
close to here.

What is almost?
All those boxes
full and empty--
is it near?

Today is 12.
There's 25.
We have an elf
up on the shelf.

He is watching.
I am waiting--
watching too,
just like the elf.

Almost, nearly,
close to now?
I have to wait,
I know--

but how?

HM 2014
all rights reserved

The roundup today is with my new friend Paul at These Four Corners.  Welcome to the hosting gig, Paul! 


  1. How indeed! Charming poem, Heidi. I look at my to-do list and feel like Christmas is right around the corner!

  2. Cute poem. You've captured that childlike questioning and anticipation so well. :)

  3. How different young children view time passing (will it EVER get here?) vs. us grown ups (OhMyGosh-I-have-so-much-left-to-do!) ;0) Thanks for reminding us what it's like to be five!

  4. I know all too well that postponing of the season as long as possible! Once the festivities arrive, it seems harder and harder to get anything done! Love your poem.

  5. Can I just say that time and its passing remains mysterious for this 5x10 (plus a few) year-old!

    I'm with you on making the classroom a refuge from the madness of the commercialization of the holiday season...

  6. Great poem, Michelle! I echo what Robyn said.Funny how you can celebrate still got time to... as you get older.

  7. You've captured the anticipation so perfectly! I teach a kindergarten reading group every day. They try to be so serious and concentrate on the crazy business of learning to read, but every once in a while, they can't help themselves and Santa randomly pops into our conversations. I want to try to write something Santa-ish or gingerbready that they can read this weekend.

  8. Oh, I remember being a kid waiting for Christmas, and it was SO hard! Love the poem!

  9. Love the poem - waiting is hard, no matter how young or old you are!

  10. Waiting is so hard for little ones. Your poem reminded me of my four yr. old granddaughter.
    It was wonderful meeting you at NCTE! Have a great holiday! (I'm so ready for winter break. I think I'm the one getting impatient.)

  11. "What is almost?" I love that question! Nice poem, Heidi.

  12. Very cute poem, Heidi. Sounded just like a kindergartener...way to nail the voice :-)

    I had a gingerbread man poem on my blog for Poetry's a little dark. my great nephew, Landon, illustrated it perfectly.

    Have fun with the gingerbread work.

  13. "How" to wait...that IS a question! I can feel my inner child asking this.

  14. I love that you picked up on Eli's question and came up with a poem in response. Isn't it funny how much our perspective shifts as adults!

  15. Your poem affected life?! Yes, you can share your lovely poem and its great "after story" with the world... Submit now on


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