It’s here again, it’s Christmas time, that glorious event,
That brings together families and relatives and friends.
A time of cheer, of carols, and presents on the hearth.
But most of all the memories that Christmas Day imparts.
And as I sit surrounded by the children, great and small,
The mind escapes to wander through my Christmas memory haul:
To six foot drifts of icy snow on Hallowed Christmas Day,
The relatives all stranded over 60 miles away.
And Mother’s still preparing food, enough to feed an army.
Dad pours himself another beer and says he thinks she’s barmy.
And the little bells that tinkle hanging on the Christmas tree
Remind me of the Christmas that we spent in Sydney.
Mother slaving in the kitchen with a chicken not long dead.
As the temperature is rising Dad lies sweating on the bed.
But the grid, it cannot take it as the mercury explodes,
So it has to shut the power or the station will implode.
And Mum in desperation, screams, “Who turned the power off?”
“Oh God, what next!” said father, as he gets up in a huff.
“Don’t fret yourself,” said Uncle Frank. “Just leave it up to me,
I’ll fire up the Metters and we’ll have the chook for tea.”
“No, put it on the driveway,” said Dad between his beers
“And let it simmer slowly then we’ll have it for New Year’s.”
And the broken glass it tinkled, like the little Christmas bell
As the chook became a missile! “And you lot can go to hell!”
Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Christmas tree pray tell me your lament
As you stand there somewhat naked in your bucket of cement.
You’re leaning on an angle like a ship that’s going down,
With your arms held up for mercy before you finally drown.
But what of Yule-tide blessings, and the yule log on the rug,
As reflection on the Yule-time give my lonely heart a tug.
“You’ll do this and you’ll do that and you’ll not answer back
You’ll not kick your cousin Rachel or I’ll promise you a wack.
You’ll say thank you for your presents. You’ll be nice to Uncle Matt.”
I think someone should take You’ll-tide and feed it to the cat!
Hey Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry? – That’s not what I would say.
I’d say they’re all as drunk as skunks or heading on that way.
And forget the Christmas carols, Cousin Carol’s full of song
And she’ll pass out on the sofa before too very long.
And Mother’s trying very hard to dignify the scene
Announcing that we all sit down for the message from the Queen.
I know for me, the memories of Christmas linger on,
As I hear my warbled hummings of that famous Christmas song.
But Hark - not Herald Angels, that’s young Jason, I can hear,
And the piercing sound of screaming drifting loud upon the air.
And his mother’s faintly sobbing, says the trampoline was torn
And the siren bells are wailing on that joyful Christmas morn.
So to all of you at Christmas, I wish you Yule-tide cheer
As I read my Mr. Dickens there’s one true voice I hear
That dear old man, that Mr Scrooge, astute – no not a mug
He, only he, had got it right, Christmas is - Humbug!
Poem by M Muir (2000)