I wrote Jack’s Christmas back in 1977, on a December night at the University of Florida. In Florida, of course, you don’t face drifting snow or iced-up bridges getting home.
But I grew up on a mountain farm in southern West Virginia. I didn’t have to voyage back very far in my mind to see the picture of a rabbit darting down the rows of a December cornfield. Food was scarce and it was common to see them out on the cornfields; gleaning up the leavings, sometimes in groups – visiting and even playing.
Well, winter’s a hard time for all of us, and it’s a blessing that we break it up with Christmas. Maybe that’s the feeling that drove old Jack to be with the family in the middle of a rough season.
Back on that December night the Muse flew in the window and sat on my shoulder, and I wrote this poem down in thirty minutes. The next day I edited a little… and that was it.
I hope you’ll share Jack’s Christmas with others by reading aloud. It’s best to say it a few times to work it up, and don’t fail to put some energy into it!
Children instinctively respond to Jack’s Christmas, but the fact that children like it doesn’t mean it’s childish. It’s deeply satisfying for adults, too, reminding us of our own experience with the highest holiday of the year.
Like Jack the Bunny, most of have an important Christmas story. These are family legends, links that make a connection between grandfathers and fathers and sons. There’s a space in Jack’s Christmas for you to write your own Christmas Adventure, making it a personal gift that will pass down the years to new generations.
Merry Christmas, then, and God bless us every one!”
About the Artist... Jason H. Whitley
Jason H. Whitley was born in Chapel Hill, NC and raised in Greenville, SC. He attended the University of Georgia and studied abroad in Cortana, Italy. Jason is a noted illustrator; his work having appeared in venues such as the “Charlotte Observer” and “Washington Post.” Mr. Whitley is employed at UNC-Chapel Hill as a professional illustrator. His work in portraiture has been exibited throughout the southeast. Examples of Mr. Whitley’s works in comic art, illustration, and classical painting may be seen at his website, “undercurrentart.com”.