Howard Firkin
There’s nothing for the kitchen or the car
these days; the gifts are small and edible.
They stay just long enough to um and ah
their news and make excuses credible.
Somebody makes you wear a paper hat.
You’re served your Christmas tea. You eat and doze
until the cheery girl comes for the tray
and chats while stacking crockery—"Were those
your grandkids? Yeah? Came all that way?"
insisting that you must have enjoyed that.

Some things cannot be changed: the television
(it’s kept on channel Nine), mortality,
the past, house rules (to save you from decision),
your presence underneath the Christmas tree.