Black Friday

Every year I swear blind that I’m going to be more ethical in my Christmas shopping, and most years I end up just swearing – not just at the consumer madness of Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays and the like, but at my inability to make anything that doesn’t turn into a complete disaster. Hence this festive verse…

I’m going to have a really right-on Christmas this year.

The news is full of pictures of the mobs that flood the stores

To get their Christmas presents slightly cheaper than before

They push and shove and jostle and they thump the other shoppers

They might commit a murder that’s unnoticed by the coppers

Cause a bit of bloodshed’s worth it for a cheap computer game

The kids all want that console, and it’s not a time for shame

The people don’t know what to do, should they join in or sneer?

But I’m going to have a really right-on Christmas this year.

I’ve got it all thought out. I’m going to shun the plastic tat

The lights that clog up landfill and the bows that choke the cat

The things we can’t recycle that just get chucked in the bin

This time I’ll be more meaningful to see the new year in.

I’ll support the local traders selling pricey crochet gloves

They don’t sell a great deal more than that, but make them all with love

I’ll make some homemade shortbread, though my oven’s on the blink

(and the smoke last time I tried to make some gave off quite a stink)

With jars of homemade marmalade, I’m sure to raise a smile

(Especially if they’re packaged in a homemade eco style)

The kids don’t need more plastic toys that get lost on the shelf –

Instead, I’ll make them outfits that I’ve sewn by hand myself.

I’ll give charity certificates to friends both far and near –

Cause I’m going to have a really right-on Christmas this year.

There is just one slight problem with my perfect, right-on view –

I should plan this in July, but now December’s halfway through

I’m not much cop at baking, and can’t sew to save my skin

I’m not sure crap homemade presents would appeal to all my kin

I’d need a second mortgage to buy artisanal craft

And I’m not sure Great-Aunt Elsie really wants a fair-trade raft

I’m running out of options, and it’s giving me the fear –

But I really want to have a right-on Christmas this year.

And so I give a heavy sigh and head off to the shops

To spend several joyless hours to the sound of festive pop

(‘It’s CHRIIIIIST-MAAAAAASSSS!’)

And spend money I don’t really have on gifts they might not like

My nephew gets a sweater when he’d much prefer a bike

The shopping bags are heavy and my conscience prickles too

I’ve turned into a consumer, and I don’t know what to do.

A tawdry commercial Christmas seems devoid of any cheer

And I really wanted to have a right-on Christmas this year.

So let’s bring out the brown paper and the berries from the yard

The charity donations on the back of Christmas cards

There might just be a middle way, for when I’m short on time

I’m crap at all the homemade stuff, but can compose this rhyme

A very merry Christmas to friends both far and near

I hope you have a lovely, moderately right-on Christmas this year.