Tag Archives: Christmas

A New Year’s Day Walk

Goodbye, fair corpse.

A twinge of remorse

Grips me as I place my boot downwind

The frozen moan

Your twisted, blistered mouth uttered

Once upon a snowstorm

Not many days ago.

 

Sweet 68, according to your driving licence,

And you’re in your Gucci padded men’s down jacket,

Swing tag still on,

With your Scarpa Phantom walking shoes,

Still stickered,

That had never seen the sun

Before they saw the snow,

And your iPhone,

Fresh unboxed,

Wrapped in the warranty leaflet and the plastic protector film

(Not that you’d have got signal at this altitude).

A first-aid kit lies overturned

At your naked, blanched-white ankle

And a thermos cup sits palliatively

At your clenched, outstretched Sherpa glove.

And that is all.

 

You had dreamed of seeing your youngest son marry

And your grandkids graduate,

Then you sucked in your last breaths

And howled them out

Homebound

Until the bitter end.

 

Their love for you just didn’t run warm enough, my friend.

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The Season’s Greetings

‘Happy New Year’:

The brassy, stand-alone shout

Of a snowflake-spangled round-robin,

From a self-made virile voice

Bristling with existential hubris,

In his starched, crisp-collared suit,

Sharp-edged and clean-cut a little too close to the skin,

Like the tell-tale redness

Of a freshly-sheared

Ex-beard.

 

You would not know

That a week ago, in his wake,

Had stood a bumbling old oaf

Dusty and musty and engulfed in cobwebs and tat,

If you had not invited the grey head to your hearthside

And watched your innermost longings commune

In the hallowed light of his sad, wise, warm eyes

With all the broken things of this world,

And fallen in love a little,

 

Before looking away

And quietly locking him back in the attic for the next eleven months

With tree, and tinsel, and plastic Santa Clauses,

Like a dirty secret.

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Why Jesus Aces Santa Claus

Santa Jesus
Santa isn’t real. Jesus is real.
Santa is an old man in a red suit with a herd of flying reindeer. Jesus is God made flesh.
Santa only visits once per year. Jesus promises to always be there.
Santa only gives you earthly, perishable things that don’t last. Jesus gives you eternal things and earthly things often come with them.
You can’t get gifts from Santa if you’ve been a bad boy or girl this year. Jesus’ gifts aren’t dependent on how many times you’ve stuffed up.
Santa cannot fix broken lives, he can only add a bit of sparkle to ‘okay’ lives. Jesus doesn’t just fix us, he brings us back from the dead.
Santa can’t forgive our sins, help us stop sinning or reconcile us to God. Jesus can, did and does.
Santa usually goes away after your parents die. If Jesus is with you, he will never leave you no matter what happens to your parents.
Santa has changed over the years (especially since a certain Coca Cola advert) and will be forgotten about one day. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Santa isn’t relevant to a lot of peoples and cultures in the world. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords – and that covers every tribe, tongue and nation.
Of those who believe in Santa, Santa mysteriously seems to give more to the kids with rich parents than to the kids with poor parents. Jesus gives generously to all who trust in him, no matter how much their parents earn.

Adapted from John Piper’s podcast: Santa Claus: Harmless Fun or Christmas Disruption? (Episode 235) (https://soundcloud.com/askpastorjohn/santa-claus-harmless-fun-or). Some of the stuff on this list is my own or in my own wording, so check out the original!

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