‘Tis the night before Christmas but it feels different this year,
Not so full of joy, excitement and cheer.
We’ve put up the tree and wrapped the presents with care,
But its not St Nich I wish could be there.
As I say goodnight and lay down snug in my bed,
Visions of Christmases past dance through my head.
The giddy anticipation of a five year old me,
shutting my eyes tight, with a tummy full of glee.
Mum would stay up wrapping until the early hours,
To ensure the magic of Santa would continue to be ours.
Dad would eat a mince pie, drink a tipple of sherry,
his part in the illusion, which made Christmas morning so merry.
As my thoughts would drift off and my dreams would drift in,
of Comet, of Cupid, of Donner and of Blitzen,
As soon as first glimpse of Christmas morn could be seen,
we’d wake, and start calling “he’s been, he’s been!”
At the first acceptable hour on our parents bed we’d come,
All that beautiful wrapping would be quickly undone.
The magic of it all, would make my tiny head whirl,
It was the happiest of times, not a care in the world.
That was just the start of the day’s wonder for me,
because after presents I knew who we’d be going to see.
Once washed, dressed, in the car we would climb,
Mum would never forgive us if we weren’t on time.
We’d arrive at Green Farm, the merriest of places,
to be greeted by family, smiles beaming on their faces.
Champagne cocktails, turkey and treacle tart for all,
Finding room for cheese, even though I’d sworn I was full.
The rest of the day spent in a contended haze,
Swearing “couldn’t eat another thing, and I won’t do for days!”
We’d laugh and we’d share and we’d pull jokes out of crackers,
Forgetting that none of that stuff was really what mattered.
See, as I lie awake in my bed this Christmas Eve,
With absolutely certainty and great verve I perceive,
If there was no turkey tomorrow or no gifts to unwrap,
Well quite frankly, in truth, I wouldn’t give a crap.
This year is different, as I said once before,
The festive performance somehow feels like a chore.
The songs not so tuneful, the lights not so bright,
The turkey not as juicy, my heart not as light.
You see its hard to be cheerful, its hard to feel glee,
When there remains a fresh wound in our family.
We’ve had a tough year, my family and me,
Dealing with loss and grief, as are so many.
The truth is that we tend to feel the true depth of sadness,
the strongest of all when we’re supposed to feel gladness.
Christmas as a time for joy, for hope and for plenty,
This year will, for some, be void of any.
So I ask you to spare a thought, just a moment or two,
For those whom Christmas, this year, will be blue.
For those whose Christmas will be hard this year,
Say a prayer for them, or raise your glass in cheer.
For myself, don’t wish for much, except perhaps this,
That my family can find but a moment of happiness.
We’ll get through tomorrow as we remember together,
That the bond of a family will be with us forever.