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Poetry Pleases: After Scrooge

Vera Sanderson's poem expresses the real delights of this day.

“We cannot be bothered with Christmas,” I said.
“We’re staying at home and going to bed very early,
Just peace and quiet and watching TV,
A moderate diet for you and for me.”

Yes, really. We’re sick and we’re tired of glitter and fuss
And fags, food and booze just isn’t for us. Live gently.
We both have blood pressure; we’re both very old.
Our cholesterol’s high and we’re feeling the cold.
The price of the presents is terribly steep,
And our fingers are sore with digging down deep for cash.
Our chequebooks are empty, our biros are dry,
And the toil of the shopping is making us die of fatigue.

Well, perhaps we’ll postpone our time to expire.
We have a bit left for some food and a fire.
Perhaps ‘diet’ is too strong a word. I don’t know, but
If we can’t take our brass, then we don’t want to go,
So we’ll hang on a bit.
There are dozes of cards to buy, stamp and write.
I’ll be flogging away night after night.
The cramp in my fingers drives me to tears,
And we haven’t seen half of these people for years.

We’re forgotten old fogies; the phone never rings
Cause all of our kids just ‘do their own things.’
They’re busy with dances and parties and charity ‘do’s.
It’s a shame that the charity can’t include us!

But, what’s that?

The Budgie phone’s ringing; the line’s all a-buzz,
And our dear, darling children are inviting us
To come over for Christmas as it ain’t many miles,
So we hop in the car, our faces all smiles.
We load up the presents, the trifles, the wine.
To hell with cholesterol, we’re feeling just fine.
We speed up the motorway, foot to the floor.

Welcoming faces stand at the door.
Dogs, cats and horses all looking fine,
And the rest of the family standing in line
Dressed in their Christmas best specially for us,
Mince pies and coffee and presents and fuss.

Merry Christmas!
The party’s a riot; it lasts half the night,
A marvellous holiday filled with delight.

Early next morning, eyes shining like stars,
Our great-grandson Christopher munching a Mars,
Banging about with his toys on the bed.
Pa and I lie there feeling half dead.
A right little Yorkshire tyke, witty and quaint,
The best Christmas present the Lord ever sent!

Christmas Day dinner, on what a feast!
The table is crammed from the large to the least.
Cigars and brandy and After Eight mints,
The log fire is glowing with warm amber tints.
We laugh and we chatter, the TV forgotten.
Anyway most of the programmes are rotten.
We wish that this Christmas night never will end
As we lift up our port to toast absent friends.
Walking the dogs in the cold midnight air,
Memories of loved ones no longer here.

Boxing Day morning, visiting done,
Back in the car; it’s time to go home.
All down the motorway I shed a tear
And pray that we may return next year.
We’ve really enjoyed our Christmas spree.
Oh! What a blessing a family can be!


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