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