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Christmas mix

Christmas mix

Random thoughts on Christmas

All the images of Christmas past run together like the mix for some sumptuous fruit cake, from which the crumbs will scatter memories, trivial and momentous, garnished by the flow of years. Each crumb falling, out of any natural sequence, so that youth overrides childhood, middle-age falls ahead of youth. Yet childhood remains forever the most crystal-clear of Christmas images, and are relived—and relived. As all the cake crumbs of Christmas tumble, wildly random elements that fix themselves in living hearts making the season what it is—

Waking up too early on lightless mornings

Too excited to be afraid of this special dark

And having all the comic annuals read before parents rise.

The thrill of receiving,

The joy of giving.

A best-suited youth proudly, shyly, nervously clutching

Cheap perfume, clumsily wrapped,

For that first special girl.

Piles of tantalising packages under a tree,

Aglow with lights and tinsel

Before bright coloured wrappers mount up in the fireplace

And the aroma of roasting turkey permeates the house.

A fort on a green baize tablecloth

With toy soldiers in heroic poses

And on its own in impoverished wartime, a single jigsaw puzzle

Yet the unvanquished joy it brought.

Red-berried holly behind the mirror,

Bright cards all around the room.

The dubious thrill evoked by a gift pair of socks

From an aunt you can’t remember

Laughter and ‘thank you’s’

Among the pleasure of family togetherness.

High pitched afternoon howls

Rung from weary over-excited children

Carols sung too loud and out of tune

While Bing Crosby croons ‘White Christmas’

Two cowboys, aged five and seven, shooting wildly

And deafeningly, from cap-guns we should never have bought

Eating, eating, eating

Rich fruit pudding, full of silver coins,

Mince pies that you can’t get enough of,

Chocolate that melts and dribbles down your new jumper

Crackers that won’t bang,

And always, a stocking hung high and hopeful

With the biggest pillowcase you can find

That poignant lull as thoughts of lost loved ones,

Prevail, and sadden, yet gladden this special time.

The warm, heart-lifting grip of fingers only eight days old

Clutching at their first Christmas.

Silver coins pushed into hot eager young hands

By whiskeyful uncles.

A reason for going to church

An excuse for getting drunk.

Everchanging, never-changing--CHRISTMAS














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