Many years ago I started photocopying and distributing Christmas ‘cards’ to my friends and family. These little booklets contained a few poems and a summary of the main events from the preceding year. Over time, these booklets grew to over twenty pages long and now contain up to fifty poems each.
What began as a simple gift has developed a life of its own. Some people collect them, others read them out to their families on Christmas day. It takes a lot of time and effort to compile, print and distribute them, but they seem to spread a lot of joy…and that is what Christmas is supposed to be about.
One of the traditions that developed around my ‘card’ in more recent years is the ‘Annual Seasonal Doggerel’. As the title suggests, this is a pretty rough and ready bit of rhyming verse about the Christmas season and some of the issues around it. There are several examples from earlier years in my book ‘The Momentous Ordinary’. The following is this year’s offering.
ANNUAL SEASONAL DOGGEREL 2013
Christmas seems to start earlier
As each year goes by
There are people now on facebook
Talking about it in July!
Christmas seems to be bigger
Than when I was a kid
No doubt we all looked forward to it
I ‘m sure that everyone did
But now it is a commercial operation
Run by media and stores
Something is missing from the heart of it
It’s not all about Santa Claus
It’s not all about getting presents
Under the Christmas tree
The beginnings of Christmas go way back
Back into history
There’s a story that’s told in the bible
About a baby being born
And while there have been lots of babies
This one stirred up quite a storm
It’s hard to imagine our lives today
If Jesus had not been born
Some people say that he made it better
Others respond with scorn
One thing is true, sure and certain
If he hadn’t been born in this way
Then I wouldn’t be writing this poem
And we wouldn’t have Christmas day!
They say he came to save the world
As a messenger of peace
It hasn’t quite worked out that way
That’s why we need police
Perhaps we didn’t understand
All the things he said
Perhaps that’s why he didn’t live long
And he’s been a long time dead
But I am far more hopeful than that
Some would say that I’m naive
I have listened to the things that he taught
And I choose to believe
Loving your neighbour in the way that he said
Makes perfect sense to me
Whether you’ve known him all your life
Or he’s a stranger or a refugee
Love is the answer that we need
To so many problems down here
And not just now at Christmas time
But all through the shiny New Year!
Let’s hope this message does get through
So like the angels we can say once again
On Earth great tidings of good news
Peace and goodwill to all men (sic)!
James D Oct 2013