Christmas Upside Down
When I look back on Christmas and when I was young
I remember with joy how the holly was hung
High in the hallways, on mantle and sill
To honour the season of peace and good will.
The greenest of prickles with splashes of red
Midst garlands of mistletoe high over head
Together with tinsel and bright, coloured lights
Flickering candles and other delights
All tenderly placed at this time of the year
As joyful reminders that Christmas is here.
I still feel the bite of the wind on my nose
As I fed robin redbreast on chill winter snows
Whilst beckoning me through the night’s early rays
The village shops’ colourful window displays.
The butcher hand plucked our plump Christmas bird
And always had time for that joke he had heard
From the milkman, the postman, the man in the drapers
Or the freckled young lad who delivered the papers.
The voices of children still carry clear
With a songful reminder that Christmas is here.
As I grow older each Christmas I find
The pleasures of Christmas-past strong in my mind.
A man made of snow appeared on our lawn
Just at the time our sweet Jesus was born.
All winter he stayed and his eyes made from coke
Stared through our window, but he never once spoke,
But his eyes seemed to say ‘this is my Christmas too.
Would you folk really mind if I share it with you?”
And as Christmas means sharing we had nothing to fear.
A friendly reminder that Jesus is here.
Every year Christmas it comes and it goes,
But it’s no longer seasoned with crisp, winter snows.
Living ‘down-under’ - though just as much fun
Our memories are made in the warmth of the sun.
A day on the beach with the family seems strange
To one who remembers the old kitchen range
That produced a fine turkey, so hot, crisp and brown
With succulent vegetables dotted around.
The crackers, the paper hats, streamers and cheer
Are constant reminders that Christmas is here.
How special December as memory lingers
With barbecue steak sauce stuck to my fingers.
Sausages, hot-dogs and lamb on the coals,
Kumara, pumpkin and hot sausage rolls.
Long summer evenings with snacks on the beach
Place holly and mistletoe far out of reach,
But the giving, the taking, the kindness, the mirth,
The spirit of Christmas engulfs the whole earth.
Then as we relax with our loved ones, so dear
We need no reminders that Christmas is here.
(C) Copyright Auckland NZ November 1996 ROY JENNER