This morning I've been starting to look for poems and readings that might find their way into some of our Christmas services to augment (if such a word is allowed) the Biblical narrative we know so well. Due to past incompetence, I have two copies of little red book called The Big Book of Christmas which has lots of poems and other things in it. Flicking through I came across this one which I rather liked...
I wrapped a toilet roll with paper
And drew a king on it
Complete with crown and a gift for the child.
Then I made another,
With a turban because he was from the east
Which I knew was romantic and far away
Without any clear idea where.
And yet another, Mrs Harman said there were three,
With gifts of Gold, Frankenstein and Mire,
Or so I thought.
Then shepherds, more toilet rolls,
And cotton wool for sheep.
An angel was a toilet roll with wings,
Joseph was another toilet roll with a pipe-cleaner staff,
And Mary a toilet roll with a scrap of blue cloth.
The child was a blob of Plasticine
Safe in a tiny cardboard match-box manger
Filled with straw.
I took it home and Mum put it n the mantelpiece
But she hid the child.
And on Christmas morning,
4 a.m. on Christmas morning, with a cup of tea in her hand
And a bleary leave me alone I'm still aleep look in her eye,
She set me and my brother searching for the child.
Cold, cold, cold, warmer, cold, cold until hot
And we found him safely wrapped in a tissue
Inside the cupboard under the stairs.
Gently we laid him in place before his mother
A scribbled, toilet roll Virgin and that was the best Christmas.
Eric Petrie The Big Book of Christmas pub MacMillan, 2005 page 9