Nursing Times Award Winner

T'was the week before Xmas

T’was the week before Christmas and all through this Parish

Mums looked white and withdrawn, a picture of anguish

The turkey not ordered, the cake still not cooked

Just two good examples of what they’d overlooked

A large box of tinsel, at least had been found

Whilst the tree lay outside on the wintery ground

But despite a high price and the shop’s guarantee

It had lost half its needles, which should have stuck to the tree

That Norwegian Spruce, it was easy to tell

Had not been the best that the tree-man could sell

The cards still in boxes, the stamps not yet bought

Overseas parcels, well that’s a good thought

When I asked the postmaster if I was in time

His reply was ‘which Christmas did you have in mind?’

Auntie Mollie needs gloves, Uncle Arthur some slippers

Granny Sarah loves scarves, nephew Henry wants flippers

My nieces wrote lists, after I’d made a fuss

It would be really helpful, if I knew where it was

And then when I found them, my felt a bit muddled

What’s a Octanaut, LeapPad, a Minion, a Hudl?

My children got cross, ‘cos I was all of a dither

They said why use a list when there’s facebook and twitter?

And, by the way Mum, you surely must see

Dad’s not wanting three Ipads, it called Ipad 3

My in-laws are coming, a hideous bore

I need to impress them….not done that before

They like beef for their dinner, underdone, not too rare

I gaze at their letter and sigh in despair

Lunch will be early, they must see the Queen

If the sherry’s not fine, there may be a scene

Logs dumped in the driveway left me quite dejected

‘By the back door’ was what I’d expected

And the boiler’s made sounds that are not reassuring

Don’t pack up again, like last Christmas morning

With heating bills rising , costs now through the roof

The bill on the table being obvious proof

“Wear more jumpers , Dad cries. “Wear a hat, scarf in bed

Don’t turn up the heating, wear thick socks instead”

My daughters still shiver, they never remember

That shorts and a T-shirt are not right for December

And then in this village, we do plays in our church

A thought, which this morning made my stomach lurch

So I got up at 5 and went to my desk

To write you this poem, I must do my best

Numbers were short, there’s been a problem or two

One’s at a party, another’s has flu

One said she’d try, but there might be a problem

Cos she’s visiting friends, and the friends are in London

With a wing and a prayer she should be in time

I fix on a smile and tell her ‘That’s fine’.

And then there’s that opener, that nativity scene

A moment to cherish, it should be serene

But with toddlers and babies requested to file

In an orderly fashion the length of the aisle?

But I knew it’d be perfect when I saw them in line

They were our Christmas treat, ‘cos they all looked divine

So with a week till our deadline, try to be glad

About this big event, please don’t get too sad

Jesus didn’t have crackers or toys he could play

His bed was a manger, the bedding some hay

No lights round the tree, no tinsel, no choice

Yet all round about him were keen to rejoice

So, forget all the gloom, not easy I know

And try to achieve a Christmassy glow

And that Christmas message? Do yourself a favour

Simply learn to forgive, and care for your neighbour.

Jill Fraser

(Chief Executive, Kissing it Better and fraught Sunday School Teacher)

Jill Fraser

Jill Fraser

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