A child once asked what Christmas was
Why everybody changed
Caring for each other,
Unreserved and less constrained?
Why houses decked with sprigs of holly glowed with coloured light
And children went out singing, wrapped up against the night?

A child once asked what Christmas was
Why people went about
Gathering cones and mistletoe
Happy, to go out
Dropping in on neighbours they hadn’t seen all year
Smiling, laughing, snuggling, glutted with good cheer?

A child once asked what Christmas was
And why the old man thought
that people were so altered
this change that yuletide brought?
Recalling those departed – making new friends, too
And why this milk of kindness doesn’t flow the whole year through?

The old man had no simple quip
No quick answer sprang to mind
As to how this festive spirit
affected all mankind
He thought of the Nativity, the early Christian rhymes
But knew that what he searched for had its roots in earlier times

For how can we state honestly
or possibly explain
That such traits of human goodness,
concern for other’s pain,
generosity, good humour – how could one ever say
can happen only once a year when we crave that every day?

Well, until that time arrives he thought
(as if it ever would)
We need some inspiration
some reason why we should
at least attempt to emphasize the best we have to give.
And, if we call it ‘Christmas’
Well then: long may Christmas live.

December 2012