Speaking at Christmas

Well, you should see snow falling on this blog now until January 4th. That doesn’t mean much to anyone reading this in a hotter part of the world and we don’t often get snow in Britain until January anyway but we have the perception that it is Christmassy, probably from an earlier age when it was. The Victorians gave us most of our Christmas ‘traditions’.

Around this time, when asked to ‘give a talk’ you can always talk of seasonal things. For an older speaker, young people can be fascinated by hearing of Christmases past and how little people received in the way of presents. They can here of the daft games played in times past before the advent of TV and Wii. It is always good to be entertaining at this time and if you write or like reading poetry on the subject, there are many good poems about that can make the audience laugh or cry on the subject. Perhaps you have your own funny or poignant tale to tell of your childhood.

I have my own poem inspired by imagining what might be going through the mind of a little boy I heard arguing with his mother while standing in a long queue (line – for anyone who does not use the expression!) in a store. “Why do have to have Christmas, anyway?” he said stamping his feet.

I grew up knowing the original Christmas story and we didn’t start Christmas in the shops as early in those days. I grew up separating Santa (Father Christmas , in England) and tales from the Biblical ones but, if you don’t really know any of the stories and they all get mixed up, it must be confusing.

The following poem arose from that incident in the Christmas queue. I am submitting it to the DP challenge this week. The poem is from the child’s point of view. (And I know the first verse is a different metre – it works if you perform it, which I’ve done successfully at several talks!) 


The reason for Christmas ain’t quite clear to me

Will somebody tell me for sure?

The grown-ups around me all act like they know

But then, I am only four.


My Mum spends lots of her money –

The money she really ain’t got

On a lot of things for a lot of people

She really don’t like a lot!


My Dad has his mates round at Christmas

They drink beer and send me to bed.

The next day, I have to be ever so quiet

While Dad walks round holding his head!


I’m very confused about Christmas.

There’s Santa, reindeer and a sleigh

And shepherds and kings and angel

And a baby asleep on the hay.


I bet you the first Christmas, Santa

Didn’t get organised as he should.

When he saw these three blokes up on camels

Said, “Going to Bethlehem? Good.


“There’s a baby asleep in a stable

Will you take these three presents for me?

‘Cause I’m running a bit late in Israel

And I want to get home for my tea.”


So they followed a star to the stable –

They’d have found it because of the smell!

THREE presents was all that they gave him –

And it was his birthday, as well!


We’re supposed to be happy at Christmas.

My mum thinks it’s just a big chore.

I really don’t understand Christmas,

But then, I am only four!



About Rosemary the Chickerell Chirper

I'm a private teacher of piano, guitar and music theory. I am married with two grown sons who now have families of their own. I have five granddaughters, two in NZ and three in England, including one set of twins. Ever since I was very young I have wanted to write and have had some poems and articles published but would love to complete a novel. I give talks about various things to local groups and play organ and piano at our local Methodist Chapel where I also lead the choir.
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2 Responses to Speaking at Christmas

  1. Shirley Ford says:

    I love this poem. I am impressed with your blog too. I have just been taking a peek at yours to get some inspiration for mine, when I kickstart it again.

    • Thanks, Shirley. It’s one of my better amusing ones, so it tends to have an annual outing for someone. I must write another for next Christmas and see if I can better it. It needs to be read with a ‘little child’s voice’ if possible. I once performed it with borrowed long plaits with bows! Thanks for the comments re my blog. I am still getting to grips with the technical side and could do better. I like the snow falling but thought that a beach picture wasn’t so suitable, so changed the picture to more Christmassy scenes. I look forward to your blog when it gets going again.

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