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It’s been quite a year and one in which a good friend of mine, Dr Fayez Ayache succumbed to COVID-19 – a big-hearted man who gave more than he received and who is still missed and makes the tragedies of this year all the more real to me. However, with Christmas almost upon us, rather than focus on all that is wrong, I thought I’d simply post a poem that I wrote several years ago. Still relevant today.

Softly, gently, as the night falls, swirling to the ground
As it tumbles, sparkles brightly lighting all around
Now nightfall comes and with its coming nothing stirs the air
Save the snow which keeps on falling – magic everywhere

Solid, stolid agéd houses firm against the blast
Wrap their people ‘gainst the snowstorm as in winter’s past
While darkened trees stand stiff and stark like guardsmen in the park
Incessantly, the snow keeps falling softly in the dark

Christmas music spills through doorways, open to the light
Of moonlit snow, while voices rising sing ‘O Holy night’
Outside a car speeds down the lane, its tyres crunching the snow
To fade away ’til peace returns. The world is hushed and low

Through the window, crystals twinkling, stands the Christmas tree
Decked in silvered pearls and baubles warming all who see
Its subtle glow across the snow scene, beaming out its light
While midnight chimes and evening fires die down into the night

Not a breath to break the spell as snow keeps drifting deep
Never resting, gently tumbling while the people sleep
Not a movement, not a sound, to stir the moonlit night
Shifting, drifting, swelling, filling, snowdrops glistening bright

The second hour the house clock reckons with its muted chime
And tucked up safe the world a-sleeping dreams of Christmas time
The night grows cold and frosty winds begin to stir the snow
It shifts and shudders ‘gainst the houses in a glacial flow

Pouring now in heavy flakes the storm picks up its pace
Racing to the frozen ground, the snow obscures the face
Of moon and stars beneath its rush to smooth the earth below
Fusing corners, cracks and valleys with pure driven snow

The seventh hour; the moon begins to head to sleep once more
And with its passing leaves behind a fresh and frosty hoar
Then lessened now and lesser still the snow begins to cease
Until the last flake drops to earth to leave a wintry peace

Peaking over distant hill the sun at last awakes
And with each minute climbs the skies as shiv’ring morning breaks
Robins leave their slumbering nests to hop upon the lawn
And wonder at the splendrous snowscape on this Christmas dawn

Waking from its dreamy sleep the world beholds the sight
Of ghost-like trees with ermine great coats in the morning light
The snow lies still, piled high and pure concealing what’s below
While cosy houses snug and warm emit a cheery glow

Discovered presents in hung stockings wake the slumber’d rooms
O’er squeals of pleasure Marley’s ghost of Christmas Present looms
The kettle whistles, teacups clatter, footsteps on the stair
The household gathers in the parlour, presents everywhere!

And oh what bustle by the fireside, O what noise and joy!
As Christmas paper rent aside reveals a yearned-for toy
And just as great’s the pleasure to the giver in this game
Who feels the same delight to know that Santa’s come again

All bundled up into the snow to run and jump and play
The snowballs fly and Frosty grows and laughter fills the day
Then back again with shouts of glee and stamping off of snow
Each face (a picture of pure health and joy) gives off a ruddy glow

Coats and gloves and bobble hats removed inside the door
Cast off and shaken, virgin snow lies melting on the floor
The smell of Christmas dinner now begins to scent the air
And magnet-like the kitchen draws them all from everywhere

The dining table, piled and groaning midst its candle’d pine
Is quiet and hushed as Grace is said and then its sparkling wine
With Christmas turkey and plum pudding flamed with brandied light
While crackers snap and bellies fill in simple warm delight

As crackling fires give out their warmth and burn throughout the day
With stomachs full and hearts content the people laugh and play
And cast a thought to Christmas past and Christmas yet to come
Contented now, the house relaxes to the Christmas fun

Outside the moon now reigns again and sheds a pale wan glow
Upon the virgin Christmas scene of crisp and sparkling snow
And O what pleasures come from sharing and from giving love
Christmas Time is here again, a gift from One above

As night-time falls and slumber calls the household to their sleep
The weary footsteps tread upstairs and soft to bed they creep
And snuggled up content and warm their minds are drawn afar
‘Cross dreamy ages once again towards the Christmas star

To think on friends and family, of times that were, now gone
To know that peace on earth is still a worthwhile Christmas song
To know that even in this age of mindless fear and pain
Each year He’ll come and with His light will give us hope again

Merry Christmas to all. I hope it’s a happy one despite the COVID disruptions. Stay safe, stay well and here’s to a much. much better 2021

The post Christmas thoughts first appeared on David Cairns of Finavon.

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