Home Blog A season to be Jolly : A Poem by Becky Peleowo

A season to be Jolly : A Poem by Becky Peleowo


The reason for the season

You may never know

If all you see is a dazzling tree

The Christmas tree with its jagged thorny leaves says,

True glamour has underneath some pain.

You see the toppers

You see the light

You see the candy-caned crook that

says he is our shepherd.

The bell for happiness,

The wreath for love

All herald the message of Christ’s mass day.

The family who sits around a table

Gobbling up the chicken, turkey or beef

Giggling and laughing and merry with wine

Have had their pains all through the year

The mother who longs to have back her son

The prodigal daughter whose innocence is lost

The gangster brother who hopes to find peace

All sit around the table to find peace

They talk, they fight, they reconcile

And look to the star to find their way

The shepherds, the magi and even Herod too

All make up that beautiful Christmas tale

So Christmas is about family too,

A time to make up and set rifts aside,

And not the raucous of a vanity fair.

You see the clothes, the jewellery and the gold

And the pulchritudinous embellishment.

You hear the chant to deck the halls and be jolly,

And not of myrrh, with its bitter perfume.

You wished you had something new to wear

But the manger, the crib and his parents too

Wore clothes not of finest yarn.

His bed of straw

The donkeys, the pigs,

Their hee-haws and their oinks still made Jesus smile.

It wasn’t about their looks after all.

His best of friends were the poorest of all

The shepherds with their empty-handed homage

Were still guests at the Yuletide banquet.

The magi in their glamour and splendour

So rich but with a lowly spirit

Tell of true giving with hopes for no return

The partying, the noise and the fireworks too,

Tell half the truth of his Christmas birth

Emmanuel, a King, God with us,

Came only with a noiseless band

The ones who first heard of his birth had no subwoofers

But while watching their flocks on a serene night,

The angels’ song,

Was the best they ever heard

Who speaks of Christmas without Santa Claus

The ho-ho’s, the socks and the sleigh bells too

But these, he did not know and yet,

Christmas didn’t mean less of a Christmas to him

During his Christmas,

there was bad news too.

Innocent boys shed blood for a fight they know not of.

Their mothers’ tears and their fathers’ pleas,

All tell a tale of no pain, no gain.

So what’s your reason for the season?

To kill, to steal, to maim or defame?

To suppress, to oppress or make others feel depressed

Who exactly do you wish to impress,

The humble host or his gorgeous guests?

And while you wish a soul a Happy New Year,

Think again of the reason for the season.

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