Taking down the Decorations by Nuala McEvoy

It’s that post-Christmas season and the house is looking tired.

The decorations are dusty and you’re feeling uninspired.

You’re done with the bling, the tacky Christmas knick-knacks

which every year you put away and ten months later unpack.

You’re fired up and ready with only one mission

and that’s to carry out the Christmas demolition.

The baubles are plucked off the tree and carefully put away.

The fake tree is dismantled, ready for another day.

The nativity is wrapped in straw – careful not to lose the baby.

The donkey has lost its tail – you’ll glue it back on, maybe.

The garland is taken from the door and placed in its box,

And stuffed Santas hidden away, alongside the Christmas socks.

The Christmas cards are taken down and placed in a drawer,

Just in case you ever feel like reading them once more.

The fairy lights are untangled, bulbs are replaced,

and put back in their packaging for fear of being misplaced.

The mulled wine goes down the sink, the mince pies in the bin,

The last slice of Christmas cake is chucked out of the cake tin.

The house looks so tidy; you enjoy its glaring bareness,

Gazing around your living room with a new awareness

and promise that next Christmas you will go minimalistic,

with discreet decorations and a style more artistic.

At last, you put your feet up, kick off your shoes,

munch the last chocolate, knock down a glass of booze,

enjoying your evening, finally reassured,

that the Christmas paraphernalia is locked up and well secured.

But then, you spot, out of the corner of your eye,

Winking at you mockingly, however hard you try

not to pay attention, but you just can’t help yourself:

it’s that lone Christmas card, left on the shelf,

that solitary bauble which rolled under the chair,

or that sad piece of tinsel which fills you with despair.

It’s that plastic Rudolph which bounced under the desk,

or that sparkly candle which now looks quite grotesque.

It’s that seasonal cushion on Grandma’s footstool

or that plastic ornament which spells out YULE.

Because, however carefully you pack Christmas away,

there’s always one decoration which somehow goes astray.

However much you try to meticulously pack,

there’s always one item which doesn’t want to go back.

However much you purge your house and wash away Noël

The ghost of Christmas present continues to dwell.

It’s a lesson that I’ve learnt over many years:

despite one’s best intentions, Christmas never disappears.

Nuala McEvoy started to while away the long pandemic hours by writing daft poems, and now she has a stash of silliness on her computer. She hopes that by sharing her ramblings, she will raise a smile or two.