MODERN MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
I climbed into our loft to be Confronted by our Christmas tree. A plastic, artificial thing For which no herald angels sing. Stored since last year, up there it’s sat, Its wire branches folded flat, With tacked-on bulbs — red, green and white — That on a midnight clear add light. We bought it from a local store. A pile of them were by the door. ‘All clearance stock now priced to sell: But only till the First Noel!’ It doesn’t take up too much space And came with its own flowerpot base. We stand it in the front room bay In case the faithful come our way. And Christmas Eve, beneath its spread — After the kids have gone to bed — We place the gifts that will excite And then enjoy a silent night. A few mince pies, a glass of wine We like to use this special time To view an old film on the box Just as the shepherds watched their flocks. Some say that Christmas means much more Than turkey, trees and gifts galore. But, for me, there is no danger Of away-days in a manger. No Midnight Mass, no Holy Night, No Star of Bethlehem shining bright, No watching the Nativity; Just my tacky Christmas tree. Ken Elvy, London W2.