Christmas has come surly

Days getting shorter and the nights longer,
there’s snow deeper, air crisper, floors colder,
pressure to buy gifts, light the house to cheer…
yep, means Christmas has come surly this year.

Hearing that yuletide soundtrack blaring in
the car, the mall, grocers, clinics walk-in,
even the toilet’s not immune, oh God,
a Christmas so surly should be outlawed!

In days with our duty to businesses,
to keep Christmas a commercial success,
we must prime the economy early
so there’s no wonder it has come surly.

It seems that if I knew more history
I could trace back before the fake snow tree
revive the reason this season began
and control the anger, do all I can

to be a happy and true Christmas man.

Angels, late December, 2015

A resigned
face settled into
for the post-Christmas season
still pretty despite
looks into the distance.

I don’t know
her troubles
or anything else
about her
as she leaves with
her kids.

And here I sit
yearning about


Boxing Day

And in the red corner,
behind the tree,
a stack of packaging going to the ceiling
a sure sign from above
of our desperate attempts to
show our love.

But when my son’s
remote wookie thingy
whips back there
narrowly avoiding the tree
that tumbling tower
falls and buries me.

I lie there shocked
in immobility with my sole
company a furry, shattered toy.
My silly fault it wasn’t still whole.

You’d think cardboard, rigid plastic, twist ties and styrofoam
wouldn’t weigh in so heavily
but all my limbs they’re pinning.
My mouth threatened with packing peanuts.
I can do nothing.

After hours,
though likely twenty minutes,
I hear a shout and then I hear
the footfalls of loved ones on the carpets.

They huff and they puff
and they pull
my feet out and I manage,
to cheers as deserved as after any marathon session,
to drag myself into a chair
none the worse for reflection.

With them all there
smiling at me
I realize
that the rescue and communion
was happiness to my eyes.

Happier than what arises
from our excess. It was then that my heart
felt like it grew several Seuss sizes.

It’s the time.
I shook my smiling head.
Just the time.


Signs are Everywhere

Another defenseless spruce has been axed,
my poor credit cards, magnetically maxed,
very long nights, cold. Yet something’s amiss.
Signs unclear. Though sad, it must be Christmas.

And how shall I celebrate Yule tide? Um.
Rum balls, eggnog, check. Or maybe just rum?
Tempting. No. Must entrench, reconsider.
Schedule my three (s)elves in, this December.

First my intellect: neurons all cobwebbed,
short term thought-ideas all logically sparked.
My physic, past pride, weighs in heavily.
Aged but strong, perhaps appetitively.

Late to come, my immortal spirit, shy
and moody. Ignore those who overlie!
Let’s la la la it with angels above
so that selves can integrate in one love.

But. The spirit speaks.

Do I delve too deep? All these western tropes
giving voice to accumulated hopes
of centuries, considered, giving birth
killed by our modernity stillbirth.

Yet now ayahuasca merry-go-rounds,
crystal, hot yoga, and other abounds
over my comatose self. A pity.
Searching for already extant beauty.

But what possible help has that all been
December 25, 2015?
In simplicity, perhaps, we can rest
for how else can we attest it best? Blest?

A pocket full of posies;
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.


Best Christmas Albums

  1. Bruce Cockburn‘s Christmas.  This is the perfect album for Christmas time balancing traditional songs in Bruce’s own arrangements with very interesting songs including Iesus Ahatonnia which is The Huron Carol done in as close to the aboriginal lyrics as possible and the ancient Riu Riu Chiu from Spain.
  2. Little Girl Blue by Nina Simone just for the title track which is a heart rending lyric sung in a contrasting melody to the Good King Wenceslas piano part.
  3. A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio which is a wonderful blend of jazz and Christmas favourites.
  4. Fairytale of New York by the Pogues is an unusual tune that really gets under your skin.

Please comment with your own favourites so I can expand my collection!

Season’s Wishes

I’m not a fan of those year end messages people send cataloguing a grocery list of everything they’ve done over the year but I still feel a definite need to sermonize so I wrote up the following:

Our wish is that you join with us in having a truly relaxed and blessed Christmas and New Year holiday.  We all know that a Christmas that is too much about the gifts is not enjoyable.  Nor healthy, wealthy or wise.  So from our family to yours we hope that your joy is all about what you do together and in what you discover about yourselves as opposed to a ledger sheet balancing the Christmas debts.
While it is better to give than to receive, it’s even better to enjoy one another.  Share a meal, laughter, games!  Perhaps sledding or skiing.  Watch any Christmas special (Alastair Sim’s Christmas Carol would be my choice).
Enjoy the season and each other!

All the best,

Terry and Family