My Christmas

My Christmas: As A Child
When I was a little girl Christmas was so very exciting
Counting days and wondering what Santa would bring
I loved dolls, books and writing equipment best of all
It seems my path was set from when I was so small

A picture of Father Christmas always went up on the wall
Two weeks before Christmas Day, Santa watched over us all
The picture had been given to my dad when he was a baby
Santa wrote in his pocket books who was good or naughty

On Christmas morning nanny (Evelyn) would be with us
Watching the opening of presents and just to make a fuss
Of her grandchildren who she only had a short time to be with
Passing when I was six, in my heart she will always live

Once I had a huge present from my uncle who lived next door
Boxes within boxes revealed a present that was so small
I don’t remember how old I was, but I loved the cross and chain
The excitement and the beautiful gift, happy memories remain

The nativity story always fascinated me, I read it many times
At school I was so proud to be the Angel, and given many lines
My mother made my robe with wings for me to hold up so high
Another year, to a class I was the mother making a mince pie

One of my favourite things to do was singing in the choir
Christmas carols, full of joy, I know now, lifted me higher
What made it more special was being in Dorchester Abbey
A Sacred place with beautiful stained glass windows to see

One year at my fathers work place party, I sat on Santa’s knee
Unknowing that under the beard was my own dad, I couldn’t see
It was years later after a few tellings that I finally knew the truth
I accepted, let go of the fairytale, losing my innocence of youth

In my teenage years we had pop music with the radio on,
Top Of The Pops on TV too, dad would burst out into song
Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody,’ we’d all be joining in
Mum would be up, and around the room she’d be dancing

My Christmas: As A Mother
When I was a young mother, Christmas was so wonderfully magical
Although at first my husbands Christmas Eve tradition seemed radical
No decorations were put up before the children went to bed
The Christmas Fairies came with Santa to do the job instead

The look of amazement on the children’s faces on Christmas morn
Made up for the complete lack of sleep from not going to bed till dawn
Surprise and delight glowed on little faces when they entered the room
Lights and colour everywhere just like a garden in summer’s full bloom

I had my own tradition to bring into my growing family
My father had given me Santa’s picture to oversee
My children, two weeks before Christmas they began to look
The third generation hoping their names were not in the black book

As all other mothers, I wanted my children to have more than me
From my one sack, to their sack and presents under the tree
New outfits to wear, toys to play, books, puzzles and more
There is a warming pleasure in giving to the ones we adore

In early years of their childhood there was no brussel sprout
So I could spend more time with them, the traditional dinner we left out
When they were older we decided to begin, and they did appreciate
The special meal shared together, though sprouts they never ate!

Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ first came out
Teaching us how fortunate we were, without a doubt
‘The Power Of Love’ from Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Taught a truth, pure and simple, we all understood

Every year there were parties with my husbands family
Grandparents, siblings, cousins getting together to see
Sharing fun with games and magic tricks into the night
Chatting away for hours and setting the world to right

It took a sad occasion to persuade my husband to spend
Christmas with my parents, so some support I could lend
My gentle nanny (Jennie) passed just before Christmas 93
Being with my mum for that Christmas was so important to me

In 1995 a totally different Christmas time we planned
To spend our yuletide together in a hot and far-away land
Two children were getting older, almost ready to move on
Jamaica, our last holiday together and then they were gone

All the delights of Christmas through my children I lived the days
The excitement and high spirits, they sparkled in gorgeous ways
When they were younger I told them the story of the baby from above
They are my Angels who came and taught me true unconditional love

My Christmas: As A Grandmother
Now I am a grandmother, Christmas is plainly simple
It’s all about the love we share, but there’s also a pull
Now we are not all together, which way do I go?
Spending time with everyone, my love I want to show

My parents may not have many more Christmases to share
And it really is a time to let those you love know you care
But little ones at Christmas bring so much pleasure and joys
Their effervescent spirits light up, I can’t resist those girls and boys

Through the generations the same Christmas songs I hear
Although it seems they get played earlier each year
Marching around the room to Jona Lewie’s ‘Stop The Cavalry’
Children and then grandchildren, it is so enchanting to see

Christmas with my children was the pinnacle of perfection
It’s not until they were older that I could see the direction
Time plays tricks, the years seem at first to go so slow
In the blink of an eye, they’re gone, where did the time go?

Now watching little ones, I see Christmas through their eyes
Wishes, dreams, the magic and awe of it all, joy multiplies
Passing on traditions, memories planted as love is shown
Generations evolve, moving on and making their own

Christmas was never about the presents under a tree
But accumulation of love and memories, a sanctuary
As generations come and go, Christmas will always be
A time to share the love and joys of being with family

Trina Graves – 11th December 2016


About This Poem

In 2016, after writing: Christmas Through The Family and The Heavenly Birth I felt I’d like to write more for Christmas. Many of my poems are written for my family members so I wanted to create a poem for them (and me) to remind us of our Christmases. 

Before I started, I wrote a few notes of different memories and the traditions I wanted to include. The poem actually took four days to complete (I started on the 11th) as I kept remembering more to add!

One of the reasons I like to write my poems is because I am sharing my thoughts, beliefs and memories. Most of my family are not interested in poems, so they don’t tend to read them now, but I know that one day (maybe when I am no longer here) they more likely will. When that time comes I hope they will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them, and that they will evoke happy memories, or tell them of family stories that they have long forgotten or maybe never knew.

Trina Graves quote from poem: Christmas Through The Family - Spiritual Quotes To Live By
some of my grandchildren (Christmas 2008)
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A Gentle Soul

Many people shape our lives
Especially during the younger years
With us through the blessed joys
And there to wipe our tears

Some are as large-as-life
Their presence takes centre stage
It’s easy to see how their character
Is written on our biography page

But some are quiet in nature
Their presence ever-serene
Life continues on around them
As though they’re hardly seen

They may not have much to say
But their words are kind and pure
Just being in their company
Will affect you at your core

They are the ink to our pen
Without them we couldn’t write
The story of our lives, no words
Would show in dark or light

Their flow brings our life to focus
Through the years their aura imparts
Blessing us with their lighted goodness
That moulds and forms our hearts

*************************************

Jennie, my maternal grandmother
Was one, a truly gentle Soul
Petit in stature, not essence
An epitome of the mother role

A mother in time of war
I can’t even imagine the fear
Daily she must have felt
In London with bombs so near

Giving up home and possessions
Evacuating, for her daughters sake
Many years would pass by before
Their own home she could re-make

Times were hard and relentless
Death and Illness she had to face
But her beloved five children
Were cocooned in her warm embrace

Years passed as they all fled her nest
Moving on, to create their own family
And onward through the generations
Her tranquillity shone out so clearly

On the passing of her husband Alfred
Frail and alone, the future bleak?
She had another lesson to teach us all
How to live on? What should you seek?

The blessing of her life was her family
And through them she developed strength
Staying with grandchildren brought her such joy
Her years continued for a much greater length

It’s now been 24 years since she moved
To our true home in the Heavens above
But what she left behind in many hearts
Is her pure and simple, unconditional love

Gentle was Jennie’s nature
Pure was Jennie’s Soul: :
Jennie taught by example
Peace: life’s precious goal

Trina Graves – 24th October 2017


About This Poem

I wrote this poem for my mum’s birthday last year, I made it into a card so that the first part of the poem was on the outside, then when she opened it there was a full length picture of her mum with the rest of the poem about her.

I have written several poems for members of my family and had no intention of sharing most of them, but reading through them I thought some could be suitable to share, this being one.

part of poem: A Gentle Soul by Trina Graves of Spiritual Quotes To Live By
Jennie with some of her children (my mum is the youngest girl)