No animals were harmed or consumed during the writing of this poem. All names have been changed. No resemblance is intended or should be inferred towards any personage, living, or dead. Especially anyone I'm going to meet over the next few weeks.
It’s Christmas time, the feast of pain
When jingle bells ring out again
And Father Christmas dons his togs
And children wish - with catalogues
For piles of fragile useless stuff
That’s never ever good enough
As TV schedules, decked with holly …
Demand that now we shall be ‘jolly’
A darkened cloud descends on me -
I’ll have to meet my family!
My family! That blinding curse
Of festive seasons, turning worse,
With every sinking twisted year
Inflicting bouts of seasoned cheer.
I can’t believe this wretched crew
Relate to me – but yes, they do!
That sister, dumped by various men
This brother, who’s been drunk again
That uncle – filled with swelling fat
This aunt, who’s dressed in tasteless tat
The list goes on – that selfish mum
Whose husband’s ego strikes us dumb
Those kids who will not eat their lunch –
Am I a member of this bunch?
But still we meet and shall again
With all our foibles, joys and pains
Accumulated through the years -
For something special happens here.
United in familial pact
We’re sharing in a blinding fact-
Despite ourselves, our past, our sin
There’s something planted deep within.
It lives, it burns, now dim, now bright
We dance in sharp reflected light
Remembering the God who chose
To share our lot, and dying, rose
Proclaiming life and love and peace
A kingdom that would never cease….
But what has that to do with all
This Christmas crackered …feast of fools?
Our season, when we do it well
Declares a Heaven over hell
With Jesus here, the foibles fade
As wine is drunk and games are played
For winners all, we give applause
Together, finding common cause.
For giving most, when gaining least -
Will symbolise a greater feast
A hope, a wish for paradise
When we might sit and eat – with Christ.