In the course of events it's Christmas again;
And round-up time for the Matthews clan.
Rickie has a mustache, evidence of a man.
And now Omara has joined the clan.

It's been a trying year for Mother and me;
With hospital bills & medical expense.
It's next to a miracle of love, or it seems to be;
The Mother of the clan spared, as a recompense.

So we're all overwhelmed this Christmas Eve;
With gratitude and thanksgiving the likes of these.
More lasting than toys and things we receive;
Another gift from Heaven, our blessings ease.

So now we've had it Mother and me;
Another great grand daughter, fine little tot.
Weighed less than five pounds, a miracle to see;
With Virla the mom, and Harold Dean the pop.

In a world so overwhelmed with material things;
It brings to our memory the miraculous birth.
In Bethlehem's manger, when angels sings;
Joy in Heaven and peace on earth.

Now we can join the Angels song, that is Mother's;
And welcome the Bundle labeled "Not for sale".
The last and the least for our family tree;
And add another live one, Angela Gale.

In the course of events reminiscing, Mother and me;
Of all the years of the gathering clan.
My years have piled up to 74, and her's 73.
At Christmas headquarters 1952-recording a foot note
(the following in the footnote in our "Book of (our) Life")

From 1952 Christmas Eve, Many years the gathering;
To 1968 the gathering in the traditional way.
From the smallest child to the largest man;
To celebrate in the traditional way (Foot note follows)

Forest and Opal and their Christmas Tree toys;
Have joined the clan this year (1952).
And Jack and Lona, add Christmas joys;
Merry Christmas to all that are here.

After many years this Christmas (1968) We look back;
The "Elder Brothers" (Bible Story) and the younger Jack.
Have a realistic story of the prodigal son;
Our brother Forest, said he was the one.

It's a beautiful story I wish to relate, while I'm here to tell it -"Stop".
Forrest was Santy Clause that year, acted bad at it.
But he came to "himself" (Bible Story) Said, "I've drank my last drop"
Ask me to take the bottle from his Santy Clause suit, "I've had it..."

At 2:00AM that Christmas Morn, a Prodigal son came home;
As all these years he has never... returned.
To the prodigal life, forlorn;
From which he repented to sever.

(sad but true...A.Z.)

All things work together for good, to them that love the Lord;
While threatening sickness was mixed with joys.
Our 'Ship came in'..."Tis the Ole Ship of Zion";
And mother was still on board.

This symbol ship, Bill gave to us many years ago;
It's a symbol of our Salvation Ark.
The Matthews Brothers Quartet as the song goes;
"She has saved a-many a thousand, thousand, thousands..this ark.

She has saved-a-many a nation;
The far cry of a life time, come get on board.
With Christ and for Christ the only salvation;
Many a thousand, thousand, thousands, there;s room for many-a -more.

The symbol of this "Life boat" for all of us;
Is docked on the knotty pine wall.
This is indeed our Golden Christmas
Anchored at Long Beach, at-last-a-haven for us all.

(By A.Z. Matthews, This Poem added in 1968)

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