is not found here,
children, we are too poor.
What's left instead,
moldy and stale bread,
and no fancy wreaths on our door.
We'll have no tree
but something came to me
and it'll cure those blues of yours.'
Then Mother took lights,
and at tree height,
afixed them from ceiling to floor
Criss-crossed and V-ed
yes, it turned out to be
the most beautiful tree evermore...
And with that act,
I knew for a fact,
Mother deserved to be adored!
Then Father came in
reeking of his gin
looked upon this and was floored!
His face ghastly,
turned bitter and nasty,
Christmas lights from the wall he tore
'I'll have none of this! '
and he said with a hiss,
'Woman, you are a stupid wh*re.'
And he left a mess
kinda like us, I guess
as we all cried of Christmas's of yore
Still, as Mother was blue
She said, 'This was meant for you'
And the lights went on the wall once more
She said, 'Don't hate,
Father's anger will abate...
He is only sad that we are so poor.'
This happened to be,
Christmas of 1983,
the saddest of that I am sure.
But what I've learned...
love given is love returned
and happiness is something to fight for.
(by Lee Degnan)
The Christmas Tree
In the dark and damp of the alley cold,
Lay the Christmas tree that hadn't been sold;
By a shopman dourly thrown outside;
With the ruck and rubble of Christmas-tide;
Trodden deep in the muck and mire,
Unworthy even to feed a fire...
So I stopped and salvaged that tarnished tree,
And thus is the story it told to me:
"My Mother was Queen of the forest glade,
And proudly I prospered in her shade;
For she said to me: 'When I am dead,
You will be monarch in my stead,
And reign, as I, for a hundred years,
A tower of triumph amid your peers,
When I crash in storm I will yield you space;
Son, you will worthily take my place.'
"So I grew in grace like a happy child,
In the heart of the forest free and wild;
And the moss and the ferns were all about,
And the craintive mice crept in and out;
And a wood-dove swung on my highest twig,
And a chipmunk chattered: 'So big! So big!'
And a shy fawn nibbled a tender shoot,
And a rabbit nibbled under my root...
Oh, I was happy in rain and shine
As I thought of the destiny that was mine!
Then a man with an axe came cruising by
And I knew that my fate was to fall and die.
"With a hundred others he packed me tight,
And we drove to a magic city of light,
To an avenue lined with Christmas trees,
And I thought: may be I'll be one of these,
Tinselled with silver and tricked with gold,
A lovely sight for a child to behold;
A-glitter with lights of every hue,
Ruby and emerald, orange and blue,
And kiddies dancing, with shrieks of glee -
One might fare worse than a Christmas tree.
"So they stood me up with a hundred more
In the blaze of a big department store;
But I thought of the forest dark and still,
And the dew and the snow and the heat and the chill,
And the soft chinook and the summer breeze,
And the dappled deer and the birds and the bees...
I was so homesick I wanted to cry,
But patient I waited for someone to buy.
And some said 'Too big,' and some 'Too small,'
And some passed on saying nothing at all.
Then a little boy cried: Ma, buy that one,'
But she shook her head: 'Too dear, my son."
So the evening came, when they closed the store,
And I was left on the littered floor,
A tree unwanted, despised, unsold,
Thrown out at last in the alley cold."
Then I said: "Don't sorrow; at least you'll be
A bright and beautiful New Year's tree,
All shimmer and glimmer and glow and gleam,
A radiant sight like a fairy dream.
For there is a little child I know,
Who lives in poverty, want and woe;
Who lies abed from morn to night,
And never has known an hour's delight..."
So I stood the tree at the foot of her bed:
"Santa's a little late," I said.
"Poor old chap! Snowbound on the way,
But he's here at last, so let's be gay."
Then she woke from sleep and she saw you there,
And her eyes were love and her lips were prayer.
And her thin little arms were stretched to you
With a yearning joy that they never knew.
She woke from the darkest dark to see
Like a heavenly vision, that Christmas Tree.
Her mother despaired and feared the end,
But from that day she began to mend,
To play, to sing, to laugh with glee...
Bless you, O little Christmas Tree!
You died, but your life was not in vain:
You helped a child to forget her pain,
And let hope live in our hearts again.
(by Robert William Service)
Christmas Eve Candlelight
Mine eyes have seen the Christmas of the many years before
The children lay asleep in bed, the presents on the floor
The tree decorated with its many twinkling lights
The snow that slowly falls outside like Angel dust at night
The wind outside is calm upon this holy night
As I light one candle for a star that once shined bright
The children as they sleep, they dream of Santa’s sleigh
They vision all his Reindeer, they see him on his way
I think about the world and how it has come to be
The soldier that’s not coming home, the broken families
I think about the child somewhere that tonight no food to eat
The gift of life a soul tonight fights desperately to keep
I think about the Christmases that have all come and gone
And how somewhere the tears will fall, someone cries alone
I think about the love in this world that needs to be
And as I say a silent prayer, one candle comforts me
I wish somehow that if life it could allow me more to give
So that love within this world somehow could flourish and could live
But I am but the soul of one whose children sleep tonight
While the Angels decorate in snow the earth just outside
And as my children wake up and they laugh and they play
I hope for you love it comes too, for you it too awakes
And as I sit this Christmas eve tonight this holy night
Know you world and all my love from beneath one candle light.
(by Bill Simmons)
The Christmas Goose
Mr. Smiggs was a gentleman,
And he lived in London town;
His wife she was a good kind soul,
And seldom known to frown.
'Twas on Christmas eve,
And Smiggs and his wife lay cosy in bed,
When the thought of buying a goose
Came into his head.
So the next morning,
Just as the sun rose,
He jump'd out of bed,
And he donn'd his clothes,
Saying, "Peggy, my dear.
You need not frown,
For I'll buy you the best goose
In all London town."
So away to the poultry shop he goes,
And bought the goose, as he did propose,
And for it he paid one crown,
The finest, he thought, in London town.
When Smiggs bought the goose
He suspected no harm,
But a naughty boy stole it
From under his arm.
Then Smiggs he cried, "Stop, thief!
Come back with my goose!"
But the naughty boy laugh'd at him,
And gave him much abuse.
But a policeman captur'd the naughty boy,
And gave the goose to Smiggs,
And said he was greatly bother'd
By a set of juvenile prigs.
So the naughty boy was put in prison
For stealing the goose.,
And got ten days' confinement
Before he got loose.
So Smiggs ran home to his dear Peggy,
Saying, "Hurry, and get this fat goose ready,
That I have bought for one crown;
So, my darling, you need not frown."
"Dear Mr Smiggs, I will not frown:
I'm sure 'tis cheap for one crown,
Especially at Christmas time --
Oh! Mr Smiggs, it's really fine."
"Peggy. it is Christmas time,
So let us drive dull care away,
For we have got a Christmas goose,
So cook it well, I pray.
"No matter how the poor are clothed,
Or if they starve at home,
We'll drink our wine, and eat our goose,
Aye, and pick it to the bone."
(by William Topaz McGonagall)
Christmas is come and every hearth
Makes room to give him welcome now
E'en want will dry its tears in mirth
And crown him wi' a holly bough
Tho tramping 'neath a winters sky
O'er snow track paths and rhymey stiles
The huswife sets her spining bye
And bids him welcome wi' her smiles
Each house is swept the day before
And windows stuck wi' evergreens
The snow is beesom'd from the door
And comfort crowns the cottage scenes
Gilt holly wi' its thorny pricks
And yew and box wi' berrys small
These deck the unus'd candlesticks
And pictures hanging by the wall
Neighbours resume their anual cheer
Wishing wi smiles and spirits high
Clad christmass and a happy year
To every morning passer bye
Milk maids their christmass journeys go
Accompanyd wi favourd swain
And childern pace the crumping snow
To taste their grannys cake again
Hung wi the ivys veining bough
The ash trees round the cottage farm
Are often stript of branches now
The cotters christmass hearth to warm
He swings and twists his hazel band
And lops them off wi sharpend hook
And oft brings ivy in his hand
To decorate the chimney nook
Old winter whipes his ides bye
And warms his fingers till he smiles
Where cottage hearths are blazing high
And labour resteth from his toils
Wi merry mirth beguiling care
Old customs keeping wi the day
Friends meet their christmass cheer to share
And pass it in a harmless way
Old customs O I love the sound
However simple they may be
What ere wi time has sanction found
Is welcome and is dear to me
Pride grows above simplicity
And spurns it from her haughty mind
And soon the poets song will be
The only refuge they can find
The shepherd now no more afraid
Since custom doth the chance bestow
Starts up to kiss the giggling maid
Beneath the branch of mizzletoe
That neath each cottage beam is seen
Wi pearl-like-berrys shining gay
The shadow still of what hath been
Which fashion yearly fades away
And singers too a merry throng
At early morn wi simple skill
Yet imitate the angels song
And chant their christmass ditty still
And mid the storm that dies and swells
By fits-in humings softly steals
The music of the village bells
Ringing round their merry peals
And when its past a merry crew
Bedeckt in masks and ribbons gay
The 'Morrice danse' their sports renew
And act their winter evening play
The clown-turnd-kings for penny praise
Storm wi the actors strut and swell
And harlequin a laugh to raise
Wears his hump back and tinkling bell
And oft for pence and spicy ale
Wi winter nosgays pind before
The wassail singer tells her tale
And drawls her christmass carrols oer
The prentice boy wi ruddy face
And ryhme bepowderd dancing locks
From door to door wi happy pace
Runs round to claim his 'christmass box'
The block behind the fire is put
To sanction customs old desires
And many a faggots bands are cut
For the old farmers christmass fires
Where loud tongd gladness joins the throng
And winter meets the warmth of may
Feeling by times the heat too strong
And rubs his shins and draws away
While snows the window panes bedim
The fire curls up a sunny charm
Where creaming oer the pitchers rim
The flowering ale is set to warm
Mirth full of joy as summer bees
Sits there its pleasures to impart
While childern tween their parents knees
Sing scraps of carrols oer by heart
And some to view the winter weathers
Climb up the window seat wi glee
Likening the snow to falling feathers
In fancys infant extacy
Laughing wi superstitious love
Oer visions wild that youth supplyes
Of people pulling geese above
And keeping christmass in the skyes
As tho the homstead trees were drest
In lieu of snow wi dancing leaves
As. tho the sundryd martins nest
Instead of ides hung the eaves
The childern hail the happy day
As if the snow was april grass
And pleasd as neath the warmth of may
Sport oer the water froze to glass
Thou day of happy sound and mirth
That long wi childish memory stays
How blest around the cottage hearth
I met thee in my boyish days
Harping wi raptures dreaming joys
On presents that thy coming found
The welcome sight of little toys
The christmass gifts of comers round
'The wooden horse wi arching head
Drawn upon wheels around the room
The gilded coach of ginger bread
And many colord sugar plumb
Gilt coverd books for pictures sought
Or storys childhood loves to tell
Wi many a urgent promise bought
To get tomorrows lesson well
And many a thing a minutes sport
Left broken on the sanded floor
When we woud leave our play and court
Our parents promises for more
Tho manhood bids such raptures dye
And throws such toys away as vain
Yet memory loves to turn her eye
And talk such pleasures oer again
Around the glowing hearth at night
The harmless laugh and winter tale
Goes round-while parting friends delight
To toast each other oer their ale
The cotter oft wi quiet zeal
Will musing oer his bible lean
While in the dark the lovers steal
To kiss and toy behind the screen
The yule cake dotted thick wi plumbs
Is on each supper table found
And cats look up for falling crumbs
Which greedy childern litter round
And huswifes sage stuffd seasond chine
Long hung in chimney nook to drye
And boiling eldern berry wine
To drink the christmas eves 'good bye'
(by John Clare)
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head:
'There is no peace on earth, ' I said
'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.'
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.'
Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
(by Henry Longfellow)
To cut a long story short: