In all honesty, travel, jet-lag and having each hand firmly in the grip of my children, who no doubt refuse to let go just in case Daddy disappears, has not given me much time to work on this week's column.
Before sitting down to prepare for my Christmas morning sermon at Suva's Dudley Church (Amy Street, Toorak at 9am – All welcome), I had the urge to be a little creative this, week. Call it the inspiration of the muse, the perspiration from the western Sun, or just the desperation of the deadline. Given that this is a time of joy, of celebrating the birth of Jesus, of peace and goodwill, here is something in the tradition of Christmas. Well it mentions Christmas, presents and Santa. Enjoy!
'Twas the day before Christmas in a land with no snow,
where political correctness had banned the word “Ho!”.
The sun shone so brightly, it was as hot as in Hades,
with fake Santas outside shops all wearing their shades.
Sweating in their costumes that would have made old St. Nick blush,
and cajoling would be customers caught up in the Christmas-eve rush.
With promises of specials and cries of “buy one get on free!”
that could be heard in ATM lines that snaked back as far as the eye could see.
Parents with holes in pockets, clutched precious saqamolis in fear of being robbed,
silently grateful of fact that the national Scrooge had lost his job.
They sighed as they gazed on their children's Christmas list,
for money was tighter than an angry man's fist.
One read “Big Gun,” “Action Man,” and “Tank;”
Daddy mused if he could get away with giving just a picture of Frank.
Bublu wanted a t-shirt with Shahrukh, one of his favourite stars,
Mummy was just happy he didn't ask for one of Aiyaz.
“May I please have rugby ball, with Sir-revi's” autograph” another one read,
The autograph is the easy part but it might be on a coconut instead.
Big spender who had become thrifty and turned over a new economic leaf,
was giving everyone gifts of breakfast crackers, noodles, tuna and corned beef.
At home parents remembered, the old days before times were hard,
way back when you appreciated the thought of a home-made card.
When Christmas was about sharing with family and friends and having fun.
Not rushing to buy everything on sale under the sun.
Each gift, whatever cost, said the same message true,
“This is an expression of my love for you.”
These thoughts came to mind as I lay on my bed,
and wished that the fearless leader could change his white suit for red.
I pray for goodwill and peace on the earth,
especially for these islands, the place of my birth.
I would like to share with you a Christmas present sent to me by one of my friends, Jeremy. Since we began communicating via emails, Jeremy often sends me some wonderful inspirational messages and stories that he has been sent by others. Thank you Jeremy.