Christmas and the Passing of Time

Hi all,

Hope you had a most wonderful Christmas!  For us it’s been lovely but the preparation part has been a challenge as it has been tight moneywise this year.  I’ve been trying to think of a Christmas poem but haven’t really been feeling it. Then I’ve been thinking What sort of poet am I if I can’t write a Christmas poem? Surely Christmas is a time when ideas should be fast coming. So much to write about. The nativity, The giving of presents, the decorations, the list goes on.  But because of being somewhat short on funds, I found getting in the mood for Christmas a bit of a struggle this year. At least until the shopping was done. Then I could sit back and enjoy.

A few days ago, I started a poem about being skint at Christmas.  For anyone unaware of Southern English slang, skint is another word for broke.  I had the first couplet and the idea of finding joy on the face of my little boy, but I couldn’t quite think of the other lines so tonight I sat down with it, looking back on my Christmas and I found I could finish it.  The main message is that it isn’t pleasant when you haven’t got a lot of money at Christmas but you can find joy in simple non-material things like the joy on your little boy’s face when he thinks about Christmas approaching and then eventually when they unwrap all the gifts you have carefully chosen (even though the man in the red suit gets all the credit!) Looking at my children was a reminder to enjoy them when they are little and not worry about the material things.  Just concentrating on the little moments like watching your toddler learn to waddle across the room can give you a whole new perspective.  Finances will pick up but the children won’t be little for long.

So first I give you my Christmas poem:

A Tight Christmas

When you’re skint at Christmas, It’s so hard to see
How wonderfully joyful the season can be

You find yourself full of worry and woe
The shops are an unpleasant place to go

Should you buy this? Can you afford that?
My goodness, these shops are full of tat!

You long for it all be magically done
‘Cause running on empty isn’t much fun

But just all your energy has been zapped
And the final present has been wrapped

You find that much needed Christmas joy
On the smiling face of your little boy

And even your baby who doesn’t yet understand
Holds a brand new toy in his tiny hand

When you watch your children, still so small
You realise it’s not so bad after all

With your darling husband you share a beer
And feel that long awaited Christmas cheer

Jen Elvy

I’m happy with the poem as it sums up my Christmas. Stressful in preparation but once festivities were underway I felt relaxed and that it was all worth it.  I love my family more than anything.

I mentioned earlier about enjoying the children while they were small.  As you know, our oldest is now five. (Yes five years old!) and I was watching his home videos earlier and couldn’t believe how much he’s grown! In these videos he was just 2 and about to start preschool.  He just looked so little.  The same cheeky grin but those little cheeks too. The ones you find on a two year old! Chubby and cute.  We are so proud of the little boy he is becoming but he is growing so fast and it doesn’t seem like long ago he was that cheeky two year old.  Then we turn to our youngest.  He is almost sixteen months old and emerging into toddlerhood.  Changing so much every day and we know that he won’t stay this little for very long. If anything time gone even quicker with our second son!   I was watching him play earlier and thinking how quickly he is going to grow and then it came to me, at last.  I had waited a couple of weeks for this. The start of a new poem.   I quickly jotted down the lines on my phone with the view to finish later.  The first couple of lines came easily but the rest took a bit more thought.  Of course, I got there in the end and here is the outcome:

 

With your stacking rings I watch you play
I know you won’t be so little one day

You waddle steadily across the floor
And I know one day you’ll waddle no more

I listen to your little baby squeal
Knowing that soon you’ll be talking for real

You won’t be a toddler for very long
To wish time away would be so wrong

Watching you grow is such a pleasure
Every moment with you I treasure

Jen Elvy

 

The one thing I wondered about with this poem is the order of the last two couplets. I wasn’t sure whether to end with treasuring every moment or follow it up with the reminder that he won’t stay little for long and not to wish the time away. In the end I went with the uplifting ending, focusing on treasuring each moment.

I’m not sure I like use of “steadily” when I talk about him waddling across the floor.  I guess I mean in the slow sense rather than without a wobble, but I wonder if the word steadily contradicts his little waddle across the floor.  I will leave it for a while but it is open to revision.   I am pleased with the message overall.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my poems this week and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2017.

Jen xx

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