This week, my creative writing sessions in Derbyshire hospitals have started to take on the theme of Christmas. We pulled questions about Christmas traditions on Christmas cards out of a stocking with jingling bells, and I’ve compiled the discussions into the poem in this post!
Patients, staff and volunteers also tried their hand at making a simple but effective Christmas card, recalling crafty activities at school and home. Some people already made their own cards, whereas some people hadn’t made cards since they were children. All the cards were very effective. Here’s a gallery of some of them!
While I was writing the poem, I had my first Christmas card delivered, which is now sitting proudly on the mantlepiece, and I’m about to go and post my own cards, and then buy a few presents as part of my supermarket run! Christmas always seems to be a major feat of organisation as well as an enjoyable time of the year. As the host of Christmas dinner, I seem to spend most of Christmas Eve scrubbing potatoes, but it’s all worth it by the time I’m opening presents and enjoying a delicious meal with my family.
A real Christmas tree
Kept in a pot and brought in each year
Thriving in the garden, growing bigger.
Don’t bring the tree inside
Until Christmas Eve, so the needles don’t drop!
Or decorate an artificial tree, the same one each year.
We put our decorations up on Christmas Eve
Or a few days before.
Decorating the house to surprise my son
When he comes home from cubs.
Children searching for hidden presents.
Nativity plays – in church or school
One of the three wise men;
The hotly-contested role of Mary
Or consigned to the ranks
As a shepherd or angel.
The little ones lambs or donkeys;
The narrator, the best reader.
Watching your own child in a play –
A proud, emotional moment
Unless they fidget or pick their feet!
Singing carols and Christmas songs
Crooners in jumpers – Bing Crosby’s White Christmas
Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.
Open your presents as soon as you wake up,
Or straight after breakfast.
Pestered by the kids, shouting
‘Has he been?’
Trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve,
Full to bursting with excitement.
Our stockings full of tangerines, nuts
Candy canes and small plastic toys.
Christmas smells of cinnamon, cloves
Most people love mince pies
With brandy butter, rich and warm.
Home-made or shop bought?
A Methodist Christmas cake with no booze.
Eating anything and everything.
A turkey with gravy.
A big chicken called a capon.
Roast beef or a turkey crown.
Brussels sprouts – baby cabbages
It wouldn’t be Christmas without them!
Roast potatoes, cranberry sauce.
Christmas pudding, rich and dark
Trifle for the kids with custard and jelly.
Falling asleep in front of the Queen’s speech
Stuffed with food
Watching Top of the Pops first,
Santa visiting children in hospital on TV.
Snowy Christmas in the Peak District.
The twelve days of Christmas –
Start on Christmas Day.
Decorations must come down by 6th January!