O, Taste and See
Christmas tastes like the frenzy
that permeates supermarket aisles
each December. The facade of civility
overturned by the delirious fear that
there will not be enough pudding or seafood
or canapés or ginger beer. Trolleys double
as dodgem cars, and it is every man
Christmas looks like the enthusiastic blink
of fairylights vying for your attention
on the outstretched arms of the tree, hemmed in
amongst a menagerie of baubles, bows,
bells, and those ornaments
lovingly crafted by tiny fingers
forever ago that now hang discreetly
in the shadows on the back.
Christmas sounds like the argument
you have with your family
every. single. year.
Backs stiffened, eyes narrowed,
teeth clenched: the familiar script
unravels verbatim as both sides
rage, rooted in the absolute
conviction that they are right.
Christmas feels like the gut-wrenching
slap across your left cheek
that knocks out all sense and reason,
as you do that first head count and realise
that this year you will set
one less place at the table. This
year, and every year there will be
one less chair joining you.
Christmas smells like the sweet victory
that comes with a six hit over into
the neighbours yard, and the scent of
chlorine lingering on fingertips as too
many bodies cram onto the couch,
boisterously debating which film
most deserves to be watched.
Our earthly experience of Christmas
looks and feels and sounds like
celebration, yes, but of bitterness
and insanity too. Here, festive
wonder and confusion embrace uneasily.
Oh! What a glorious relief, a blessed
reassurance it is then, to know He is before
all things. Come, taste and breathe in the
wondrous truth: the firstborn is here, and
in him all things hold together.