Christmas in my bones | a poem

Every year

Christmas sinks into my bones through Penatatonix tones

And ice-cream cones and skimming stones on Tsitsikamma lagoons.

Christmas sinks into my bones on Pretoria stoeps and in swimming pools

And under clouds split by the fire and flash of summer-warm thunderstorms.

But now

Christmas plans are red-list canned.

We’re on the top half of a world gone mad.

No bone-of-our-bone coming to see our brave new land.

And there’s a strange Christmas crisis in my heart.

So now

Christmas is the new magic of

Roasted chestnuts and reindeer sweaters

Holly in the hedges growing and glowing holy red

Lights glistening on the river silent like stars in a Bethlehem sky

Stockings hung from a mantlepiece and dark hot chocolate afternoons  

Snow flurries and school run hurries as laughing boys scrape ice off the windscreen.

And a fresh wondrous different Christmas sinks into my bones.

But all these shiny-happy shimmerings

Are just the tiny cardboard doors of Advent calendars

Opening the smallest window onto wonder and pointing to

The end of the age when we’ll stand on a different shore entirely, eternally.

There the light never fades.

There we’ll meet Hope Himself:

The manger-laid King whose broken body broke darkness.

No more weary-world groans before that glory throne:

Hope fulfilled flooding our brand-new bones.

Photo by Lum3n from Pexels


  1. My heart breaks for you, Mum & Dad, as you “put on the new” for your boys; when your pandemic-weary bones long for your “normal” 💕 But then, what is “normal”? – its a whole different (new) world for everyone – even the “old bones” left behind! So, throw yourself into the new, for the sake of your childrens’ futures; take to heart all the new normals; create new traditions, and realize that we ALL “move on” in times such as this 😢 So wonderful to receive this message – I’ve been lost without them 😘

    With love from a pandemic-weary “old bone” who is struggling with the “new-norm 😉 Wishing you a Blessed Christmas 🎄🎄 Carrie Carter 🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Dalene,

    This poem is so beautifully written expressing the 2 different wonders of your previous Christmases and the new.
    We wish you and your family a very Blessed Christmas.

    Miss you all
    With much love from us both, Judy and Freddie

    Liked by 1 person

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