39 Best Holiday Poems (Poems for the Holiday Seasons)

2022 Update

Nothing compares to a relaxing holiday after months of effort.

It’s an opportunity for people to escape from the work stress and live every second with to the fullest. On the other hand, holidays are important to some because of its religious significance. It’s an occasion for people to experience specific spiritual opportunities.

There are many ways you can maximize the pleasure of holidays. It could be a quick night out to watch movies, or planning a visit to your long-distance grandparents and relatives.

Poets are not naturally drawn to the idea of holidays and vacations. We have compiled a list of 39 best holiday poems that can make your days momentous and joyous:

Best Holiday Poems

1.) “A Friend’s Greeting”

I’d like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me;
I’d like to be the help that you’ve been
always glad to be;
I’d like to mean as much to you
each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me along the way.

I’d like to do the big things
and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray out of your skies
and leave them only blue;
I’d like to say the kindly things
that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul
the way that mine you’ve stirred.

– Edgar Guest

2.) “Thanksgiving”

We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

3.) “A New law”

Let there be a ban on every holiday.
No ringing in the new year.
No fireworks doodling the warm night air.
No holly on the door. I say
let there be no more.
For many are not here who were here before.

– Greg Delanty

4.) “Ring Out, Wild Bells”

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

– Alfred Tennyson

5.) “[little tree]

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

– E.E. Cummings

6.) “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

– Clement Clarke Moore

7.) “Holidays”

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;— a Fairy Tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

8.) “A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M.”

They have watered the street,
It shines in the glare of lamps,
Cold, white lamps,
And lies
Like a slow-moving river,
Barred with silver and black.
Cabs go down it,
One,
And then another.
Between them I hear the shuffling of feet.
Tramps doze on the window-ledges,
Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks.
The city is squalid and sinister,
With the silver-barred street in the midst,
Slow-moving,
A river leading nowhere.
Opposite my window,
The moon cuts,
Clear and round,
Through the plum-coloured night.
She cannot light the city;
It is too bright.

– Amy Lowel

9.) “The Year”

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

10.) “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

– Robert Frost

11.) “Christmas Bells”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

12.) “A Statesman’s Holiday”

I lived among great houses,
Riches drove out rank,
Base drove out the better blood,
And mind and body shrank.
No Oscar ruled the table,
But I’d a troop of friends
That knowing better talk had gone
Talked of odds and ends.
Some knew what ailed the world
But never said a thing,
So I have picked a better trade
And night and morning sing:
Tall dames go walking in grass-green Avalon.

Am I a great Lord Chancellor
That slept upon the Sack?
Commanding officer that tore
The khaki from his back?
Or am I de Valera,
Or the King of Greece,
Or the man that made the motors?
Ach, call me what you please!
Here’s a Montenegrin lute,
And its old sole string
Makes me sweet music
And I delight to sing:
Tall dames go walking in grass-green Avalon.

– William Butler Yeats

13.) “Summer Holiday”

When the sun shouts and people abound
One thinks there were the ages of stone and the age of
bronze
And the iron age; iron the unstable metal;
Steel made of iron, unstable as his mother; the tow-
ered-up cities
Will be stains of rust on mounds of plaster.
Roots will not pierce the heaps for a time, kind rains
will cure them,
Then nothing will remain of the iron age
And all these people but a thigh-bone or so, a poem
Stuck in the world’s thought, splinters of glass
In the rubbish dumps, a concrete dam far off in the
mountain…

– Robinson Jeffers

14.) “A Nation’s Strength”

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

– William Ralph Emerson

15.) “After Bank Holiday”

Now deserted are the roads
Where awhile the lovers went;
Vacant are the field-abodes
Where a vivid hour they spent:
Solemn dark
Broods again in lane and park.

‘Tis no matter where are gone
Those warm lives—-to halls, maybe,
Festive, or to lodgings lone:
Of the land their tenancy
Now is o’er;
Earth to earth belongs once more.

Gone are they as hourly goes
From the sombre fields of space
Our world, with its little glows—
Passion’s ship that has no place,
Leaves no track,
On time’s endless ocean black.

– Elizabeth Daryush

16.) “A Western Ballard”

When I died, love, when I died
my heart was broken in your care;
I never suffered love so fair
as now I suffer and abide
when I died, love, when I died.

When I died, love, when I died
I wearied in an endless maze
that men have walked for centuries,
as endless as the gate was wide
when I died, love, when I died.

When I died, love, when I died
there was a war in the upper air:
all that happens, happens there;
there was an angel by my side
when I died, love, when I died.

– Allen Ginsberg

17.) “Perhaps the World Ends Here”

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

– Joy Harjo

18.) “A Holiday”

The Wife
The house is like a garden,
The children are the flowers,
The gardener should come methinks
And walk among his bowers,
Oh! lock the door on worry
And shut your cares away,
Not time of year, but love and cheer,
Will make a holiday.

The Husband
Impossible! You women do not know
The toil it takes to make a business grow.
I cannot join you until very late,
So hurry home, nor let the dinner wait.

The Wife
The feast will be like Hamlet
Without a Hamlet part:
The home is but a house, dear,
Till you supply the heart.
The Xmas gift I long for
You need not toil to buy;
Oh! give me back one thing I lack –
The love-light in your eye.

The Husband
Of course I love you, and the children too.
Be sensible, my dear, it is for you
I work so hard to make my business pay.
There, now, run home, enjoy your holiday.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

19.) “Vacation”

love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.

– Rita Dove

20.) “New-Year’s Eve And New-Year’s Day”

Good bye, Old Year!
And with thee take
Thanks for the gifts to every land
Thou broughtest in thy bounteous hand,
And all that thou hast taught to hearts thy lingering steps forsake.
Good bye, Old Year!
The Past awaiteth thee.
Who ruleth in her power alone
The kingdom of Oblivion.
Silent she sits in ebon chair;
Falling mists of dusky hair
Veil her dark eyes’ glorious shine,
Full of wise help, and truth divine.
Silent, unless a fitful sound,
As from some cavern underground,
Steal from her lips; the company
Of ancient Years that round her be,
Then chanting, one by one, give tongue
To old experience in their song.

– Bessie Rayner Parkes

21.) “Wonder and Joy”

The things that one grows tired of—O, be sure
They are only foolish artificial things!
Can a bird ever tire of having wings?
And I, so long as life and sense endure,
(Or brief be they!) shall nevermore inure
My heart to the recurrence of the springs,
Of gray dawns, the gracious evenings,
The infinite wheeling stars. A wonder pure
Must ever well within me to behold
Venus decline; or great Orion, whose belt
Is studded with three nails of burning gold,
Ascend the winter heaven. Who never felt
This wondering joy may yet be good or great:
But envy him not: he is not fortunate.

– Robinson Jeffers

22.) “After The Hunt”

I saw the eggs,
Went to get coffee,
To enjoy the view.
All of five minutes,
All I saw nothing,
Nothing but green.

– Barbara Miles Jackson

23.) “Kriss Kringle”

Just as the moon was fading
Amid her misty rings,
And every stocking was stuffed
With childhood’s precious things,

Old Kriss Kringle looked around,
And saw on the elm-tree bough,
High hung, an oriole’s nest,
Lonely and empty now.

“Quite a stocking,” he laughed,
“Hung up there on a tree!
I didn’t suppose the birds
Expected a present from me!”

Then old Kriss Kringle, who loves
A joke as well as the best,
Dropped a handful of snowflakes
Into the oriole’s empty nest.

– Thomas Bailey Aldrich

24.) “Ice”

In the warming house, children lace their skates,
bending, choked, over their thick jackets.

A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy
it’s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,

clumping across the frozen beach to the river.
December’s always the same at Ware’s Cove,

the first sheer ice, black, then white
and deep until the city sends trucks of men

with wooden barriers to put up the boys’
hockey rink. An hour of skating after school,

of trying wobbly figure-8’s, an hour
of distances moved backwards without falling,

then—twilight, the warming house steamy
with girls pulling on boots, their chafed legs

aching. Outside, the hockey players keep
playing, slamming the round black puck

until it’s dark, until supper. At night,
a shy girl comes to the cove with her father.

– Gail Muzar

25.) “Minstrels”

The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?—till was paid
Respect to every inmate’s claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And “Merry Christmas” wished to all.

– William Wordsworth

26.) “The 26th of December”

A Tuesday, day of Tiw,
god of war, dawns in darkness.
The short holiday day of talking by the fire,
floating on snowshoes among
ancient self-pollarded maples,
visiting, being visited, giving
a rain gauge, receiving red socks,
watching snow buntings nearly over
their heads in snow stab at spirtled bits
of sunflower seeds the chickadees
hold with their feet to a bough
and hack apart, scattering debris
like sloppy butchers, is over.
Irregular life begins. Telephone calls,
Google searches, evasive letters,
complicated arrangements, faxes,
second thoughts, consultations,
e-mails, solemnly given kisses.

– Galway Kinnell

27.) “At the Beach”

Looking at the photograph is somehow not
unbearable: My friends, two dead, one low
on T-cells, his white T-shirt an X-ray
screen for the virus, which I imagine
as a single, swimming paisley, a sardine
with serrated fins and a neon spine.

I’m on a train, thinking about my friends
and watching two women talk in sign language.
I feel the energy and heft their talk
generates, the weight of their words in the air
the same heft as your presence in this picture,
boys, the volume of late summer air at the beach.

Did you tea-dance that day? Write poems
in the sunlight? Vamp with strangers? There is
sun under your skin like the gold Sula
found beneath Ajax’s black. I calibrate
the weight of your beautiful bones, the weight
of your elbow, Melvin,

on Darrell’s brown shoulder.

– Elizabeth Alexander

28.) “Beyond the Red River”

The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,
And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass
Which the bumble bee has abandoned. We wait for a winter lion,
Body of ice-crystals and sombrero of dead leaves.

A month ago, from the salt engines of the sea,
A machinery of early storms rolled toward the holiday houses
Where summer still dozed in the pool-side chairs, sipping
An aging whiskey of distances and departures.

Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land.
My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave.
I am happy enough here, where Dakota drifts wild in the universe,
Where the prairie is starting to shake in the surf of the winter dark.

– Thomas Mcgrath

29.) “The Holy Night”

We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem;
The dumb kine from their fodder turning them,
Softened their horned faces
To almost human gazes
Toward the newly Born:
The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks
Brought their visionary looks,
As yet in their astonied hearing rung
The strange sweet angel-tongue:
The magi of the East, in sandals worn,
Knelt reverent, sweeping round,
With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground,
The incense, myrrh, and gold
These baby hands were impotent to hold:
So let all earthlies and celestials wait
Upon thy royal state.
Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

30.) “When the Year Grows Old”

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old—
October—November—
How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window
With a little sharp sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
That I wish I could forget—
The look of a scared thing
Sitting in a net!

– Edna St. Vincent Millay

31.) “Roads”

I know a country laced with roads,
They join the hills and they span the brooks,
They weave like a shuttle between broad fields,
And slide discreetly through hidden nooks.
They are canopied like a Persian dome
And carpeted with orient dyes.
They are myriad-voiced, and musical,
And scented with happiest memories.
O Winding roads that I know so well,
Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill!
They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune
Gay as a honey-bee humming in June.
‘T is the rhythmic beat of a horse’s feet
And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch;
‘T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze,
And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch.
A cow in a meadow shakes her bell
And the notes cut sharp through the autumn air,
Each chattering brook bears a fleet of leaves
Their cargo the rainbow, and just now where
The sun splashed bright on the road ahead
A startled rabbit quivered and fled.

– Amy Lowell

32.) “The Feast of Lights”

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening’s forehead o’er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre,
Blow the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn;
Chant psalms of victory till the heart takes fire,
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born.

Remember how from wintry dawn till night,
Such songs were sung in Zion, when again
On the high altar flamed the sacred light,
And, purified from every Syrian stain,
The foam-white walls with golden shields were hung,
With crowns and silken spoils, and at the shrine,
Stood, midst their conqueror-tribe, five chieftains sprung
From one heroic stock, one seed divine.

– Emma Lazarus

33.) “Star of The East”

Star of the East, that long ago
Brought wise men on their way
Where, angels singing to and fro,
The Child of Bethlehem lay—
Above that Syrian hill afar
Thou shinest out to-night, O Star!

Star of the East, the night were drear
But for the tender grace
That with thy glory comes to cheer
Earth’s loneliest, darkest place;
For by that charity we see
Where there is hope for all and me.

Star of the East! show us the way
In wisdom undefiled
To seek that manger out and lay
Our gifts before the child—
To bring our hearts and offer them
Unto our King in Bethlehem!

– Eugene Field

34.) “On Christmas Evening”

On Christmas Evening, azure hued,
Upon the snow clad trail, rosy, warm and good,
My love and I, with love imbued,
Shall wander to the glistening wood,
To find the nook we have pursued
In dreams of an amorous kiss:
A cozy nook beneath the feathery bliss
Of quivering myrtles, among a courtyard of white.
We shall rove through the brisk and sacred air,
In a nimbus of sure delight,
Snug in our sweaters, holding hands,
Free of all care,
In the hush of the moonlight –
Vowing mystic wedding bands.

– John Lars Zwerenz

35.) “Mad As The Mist And Snow”

Bolt and bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night,
And I seem to know
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist and snow.

Horace there by Homer stands,
Plato stands below,
And here is Tully’s open page.
How many years ago
Were you and I unlettered lads
Mad as the mist and snow?

You ask what makes me sigh, old friend,
What makes me shudder so?
I shudder and I sigh to think
That even Cicero
And many-minded Homer were
Mad as the mist and snow.

– William Butler Yeats

36.) “Holiday in Inggoldmells”

There was a duck in a
puddle as we arrived on the site

We unpacked and set off to
the pub for the night

We enjoyed the evening
then it rained until next day

We wouldn’t let it spoil
things or get in our way

The sun came out, so we sat
outside to eat

We had a fry up breakfast
what a lovely treat

Fantasy Island and the
Market Place

Always puts a big smile on
our face

Burgers and hot dogs,
donuts and ice cream

Living out our fantasy
it’s a junk food dream

We stopped off at the pub
for a lager or two

We returned later to have
another few

– Pamela Griffiths

37.) “The Snow Man”

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

– Wallace Stevens

38.) “Walking Across The Atlantic”

I wait for the holiday crowd to clear the beach
before stepping onto the first wave.
Soon I am walking across the Atlantic
thinking about Spain,
checking for whales, waterspouts.
I feel the water holding up my shifting weight.
Tonight I will sleep on its rocking surface.
But for now I try to imagine what
this must look like to the fish below,
the bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.

– Billy Collins

39.) “Before The Ice Is In The Pools”

Before the ice is in the pools—
Before the skaters go,
Or any check at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow—

Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!

What we touch the hems of
On a summer’s day—
What is only walking
Just a bridge away—

That which sings so—speaks so—
When there’s no one here—
Will the frock I wept in
Answer me to wear?

– Emily Dickinson

Summary

So did you enjoy reading our catalog for the best holiday poems? If you found any of the poems to your likings, feel free to share with your friends or family.

Everyone loves to take a holiday every now and then. Who wouldn’t like to relax and cool off with a fresh slush in the scorching heat, or warm up in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee during winters?

If there’s one thing that can make these moments even more special, its reading a holiday poem or sharing them with your loved ones.