Dad’s Old Red Christmas Bandana (revised 12/16/04)

Christmas is a special time,

This much I know is true.

Pull up a chair and lend an ear.

I’ve a story to tell to you.

For not far away and not long ago,

In a land called Indiana,

Lived a boy and girl about your age.

Both shared a red bandana.

Each had a coat and both wore shoes,

Their mittens numbered four.

With underwear, each had a pair,

When they walked out their door.

Little Johnny and Hannah had no want.

Their needs were fully met.

But the bandana became a central theme.

In this, they were quite upset.

How could they learn to get along

When it came to this red hat?

“Far too special to tear in two!”

They both agreed with that.

The cloth was so amazing.

It was given by their dad.

The most impressive hanky

He had ever had.

Oversized and deep dark red,

Tight stitches along the rim,

Covered with small white Santa’s

Dad’s hanky smelled like him.

A gift to them on Christmas day

When both were just a tot,

It symbolized his love and joy.

They loved that rag a lot.

Each took their turn in wearing

This make-shift little hat.

On odd and even days they swapped

With barely a tiff or spat.

They donned it every day of the week.

It became quite a trend.

They thought it made them dapper.

Others thought that it should end.

And one day the sharing came to a close.

The bandana was faded and worn.

The children were brokenhearted,

Their faces so forlorn.

Carefully, Mother folded the cloth,

Gently placed it in a drawer.

The years went past, they both forgot

The red bandana that they wore.

But there came a day when the girl was grown

She was packing up her things.

She prepared to leave, move on her own.

She’d sprouted her own wings.

Pushed to the back of the bottom drawer

She came upon that gift.

A faded, red, worn hanky,

Her heartbeat became swift.

She remembered how she’d loved that cloth

Resting on her curls of gold.

And then she thought of her brother

Who’d also grown quite old.

“He’d love to see this bandana,”

She thought quietly to herself

And grabbed a pen and paper

From off the old bookshelf.

She drafted a short letter

And addressed it to her kin.

Along with her best wishes

She put the old rag in.

He opened up the envelope

While coming through the door.

The hanky fell in front of him

Upon the entry floor.

He picked it up and held it tight,

He read the note aloud.

His brown eyes quickly filled with tears.

His heart was oh, so proud.

“Dear, Johnny-boy,” the note began,

“I thought you’d like to see

The little red bandana

Dad gave to you and me.”

“I’ve always loved it as my own

And I know that you did, too.

But this Christmas it’s a present, again,

A gift from me to you.

“In all the years that we’ve been friends,

Nothing has meant more

Than this red, faded hanky

That you and I both wore.”

“It reminds me of the love we shared

And the love of our dear dad.

For all the fighting that we did

They were the best times we ever had.”

“So keep this hanky close to heart,

I pray it gives you pause

And next year you can send it to me.

You’ll be Santa Claus!”

The boy and girl still share the cloth,

They send it to each other.

It started with a giving act

From a sister to her brother.

It is a lesson we all could learn,

An example from little Hannah.

She gave the greatest gift she had,

Dad’s Old Red Christmas Bandana.

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