Archived: Christmas Caps by Brooke Pippin


My father emphasized traditions and Christmas was no exception
Always, button up shirts and glasses of eggnog around the dinner table
Regardless of heavy and  humid Decembers in Alabama
But none was heavier than when his seat was left bare
My mother bought the biggest tree, it scraped the ceiling
And never had I seen so many presents piled under
Yet my two brothers and I found ourselves unfeeling
Without enthusiasm for the impending holiday
So, in silence we sat, having felt detached
From traditions we had always cherished
Until my mom pulled out my dads caps
That read “Coast Guard” and passed them around
They were worn down but they felt right
And they reminded us of his presence
So since then, caps are for Christmas and eggnog is forbidden
We never really needed a tree of such an imposing height