Could Christmas still change the world?
On the last day of term, I had to deliver an address for the S2 yeargroup at Millburn Academy. Devoid of other ideas, and in need of something Christmassy, engaging and short; I opted to write a poem.
It seemed to go down well - for which I'm thankful because doing poetry in front of people is difficult even if those people are expecting to have poetry done to them...
Anyway here's the piece. Enjoy!
A long time ago in a galaxy quite close to here
Begins a story we celebrate every year
We tell it over and over and over again
It might have meant something away back when…
Nothing’s happening in the sleepy Middle East and then:
Mary, Joseph, a stable bare
A baby arrives – they call Him God’s heir
The couple are poor, people think the child’s not legit,
A likely story they tell to get away with it –
“An angel came with a message from on high
the baby is God’s” and that’s really why
He’s special and causing the angels to sing
And shepherds come in from their fields to bring
Their smelly presence to that stable round the bend
The important people were too busy to attend.
If you’re like me, you think that story’s true –
Proof that God really is with me and you.
But if you don’t believe, that’s cool, I won’t take offence like some little girl;
But I’d like to convince you of this: that Christmas can still change the world.
If we start with the story and think for a while,
You’d probably see it on Jeremy Kyle –
Don’t worry Joseph whilst the baby’s not yours
You can marry me still because the nipper’s the Lord’s.
Says Mary and an angel in a freaky dream
That everything isn’t quite as it seems.
And that’s the point I want to think on:
What if that story wasn’t a con?!
The moral of the story (if I had to pick one)
Is that first Christmas can’t have been much fun –
It must have been inconvenient for Mary and Jo back when
They found out Christmas wasn’t all about them.
For them Christmas carried a very high cost
The life they once knew became a memory lost
Their world got flipped-turned upside down
Moving to a new country, nation and town.
But everything you read about that young pair
Suggests that they were more than willing to share
Their lives, home, futures with a new baby king
The tough bits of raising royalty – minus the bling.
They decided away back when
That Christmas wasn’t all about them.
What are you hoping for on Christmas day
A pile of presents for keeping, one for ebay?
A turkey, a goose, a massive feed,
Stuff that I want and stuff that I need;
Some fun, some games, some rubbish TV
An afternoon nap and a nice cup of tea
Some lights up, some tinsel, a fabulous tree
But what if Christmas, this Christmas, wasn’t all about me?
You don’t have to believe in the Bethlehem baby
To find yourself thinking that maybe, just maybe
Christmas time could be a great place for living
If we forget about getting and focus on giving.
I’ve had some terrible presents in my time
I’ve given some too – the shame all mine
But when I’ve focused my mind’s eye
I’ve more to give than just things I can buy
What if your presence mattered more than your presents?
What if being there were the way to show you care?
What if Christmas, this Christmas, I took time to see
That the whole thing isn’t all about me?
Who could you write to or make time to phone?
Who could you save from spending Christmas alone?
If I forgot about getting for a second or two
I’d find new ways of giving; what and to who.
My Christmas, this Christmas, (and I hope you’ll join too)
In trying to remember the good we can do.
And just like that original Bethlehem plot
[Whether you believe in the story or not]
the story gets better the more it’s unfurled
because truly Christmas can still change the world.