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A Reflection at Christmas

Merry Christmas

Aristo Christmas Message

Aristo Christmas Message

I have been thinking for a while about writing a Christmas article while getting our home ready for Christmas.

Which usually means some painting and decorating while moving things about and putting stuff away, to make room for the Christmas tree and the decorations.

Most people’s thoughts are that Christmas marks the end of another year, one that we are particularly pleased to see draw to a close this year.

Yet it’s also a celebration; we have come through, we have arrived, we’re in the safe waters of Christmas, a time for a rest, recovery and enjoyment with family, where possible.

With thoughts of peace and goodwill to everybody, I would like to give you the gift of two of my favourite poems.

One from Roger McGough book of children’s poems “Sky in the Pie” entitled “The Snowman” which I bought for my daughter a long time ago.

Her note inside the cover reads:

If this book should ever roam slap it’s bum and send it home to Jenni Keogh room 13 Mrs Barry 6th class.

Thankfully it did not roam, and I am still dipping into Rogers poetry.

The Snowman

Mother, while you were at the shops
and I was snoozing in my chair
I heard a tap at the window
saw a snowman standing there

He looked so cold and miserable
I almost could have cried
so I put the kettle on
and invited him inside

I made him a Cup of cocoa
to warm the cockles of his nose
then he snuggled in front of the fire
for a cozy little doze

He lay there warm and smiling
softly counting sheep
I eavesdropped for a little while
then I too fell asleep

Seems he woke and tiptoed out
exactly when I’m not sure [I’m not too sure]
it’s a wonder you didn’t see him
as you came in through the door

(oh, and by the way,
the kitten’s made a puddle on the floor)

The second poem is by one of my favourite people Brendan Kennelly, which you can interpret in multiple ways, please pick the way that speaks to you at this time:


Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing through with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it, perhaps, is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces,
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

Christmas is about ritual at the end of another year and it’s also about beginning again. I look forward to re-engaging with you in the New Year and I wish to thank all those who regularly read and comment on my articles.

Best Wishes for 2021 and have an enjoyable and safe Christmas.


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