Jingle-Bell Shop*

What rankles most about Christmas shopping
Is the cultural expectation of swapping:
The giving of such well-chosen treats
With unspoken inclusion of all receipts…
Which makes it all too easy to wonder
Why anyone would really ponder,
Hours of research on the net
Seeking ideas for what to get,
Trawling round the superstores
Trapping bags in revolving doors,
Standing in queues for endless hours
Not for a moment to question the power,
The pull, of seasonal advertising
Retail assistants so busy advising,
Pitching every USP
Known to man -and now to me.
Offering a gift-wrap service, too,
Every shade and every hue,
Ribbon, tissues, sequins, sprinkles-
Hark! The herald registers tinkle!
Money passing hand over hand,
Jangling in time with the Sally Army band;
Decorations high and low,
Poor Santa with that sticky glow
Of children eating festive sweets,
Recompense for pounding streets,
Parents stressed beyond their ken
Wondering, “Lord, When will it end?”
While Shoppers Watch their diminishing coffers
Grabbing every special offer,
Losing track of rhyme or reason,
As befits the Festive Season.
Gather ye carrier bags while ye may-
Don’t fritter all those 5ps away-
Wrapping with ribbons, labels clear
To ensure your near and dear
Get the gifts so carefully chosen
Up to and including those Superstore tokens…
Then, hark!
The sugar-crazed little ones squeal-
Paper ripped to gifts reveal;
Smiles and laughter, pure excitement
A truly meaningful indictment
Of the loving effort spent
To make this a memorable annual event.
Wrapping matter piled high
Indicating all is nigh.
Family tensions so released.
Sleep in heavenly peace…


*Not to be confused with Brenda Lee’s original classic…


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