The Mark Hastings Experience: My Christmas Message

My Poem “The Gift of You”

Christmas is a time,
Christmas is a season,
Christmas is like a tide
that slowly rises, overwhelms,
and then recedes in the wake
of a new year descending...
Christmas is different every year
for everyone who celebrates it.

Christmas can be a different experience
depending on how old someone is -
when we are young Christmas is
a series of magical moments,
including: meeting someone dressed
in a red suit with a white beard,
making a list of things that we want,
and receiving presents of all shapes and sizes;
but, as we get older, as life goes on,
and as we lose people who have
always been special to us,
Christmas can be a time of reflection,
sadness, regret, and longing for what was
and missing those who we have lost.

Christmas can be a wonderful crossroads
of feelings and emotions, of family,
of friends, of making the most
of what you have, of accepting what are you gifted,
and of capturing the spirit of celebration
that fills every street and the rooms
of every house all around the world...
Christmas is when love can be shown
and shared...
Christmas is when people have to think
about others and truly show that they care...
Christmas is about the build up
to December the 25th -
more so, perhaps, that the day itself...
Christmas is sometimes more about
following long established traditions -
whether they are religious in nature,
consumeristic, or of keeping alive
the memory of people who to us
will live on in our mind and in our heart
and whose photos will remain
long after we take down the festive
cards we have received from their shelves.

This Christmas, like every Christmas,
we all hope for the best
and wish to be blessed...
this Christmas, like every Christmas,
we all sometimes want
what we can't have...
this Christmas, like every Christmas,
people listen to Christmas songs,
people watch Christmas movies,
and people don Christmas themed attire
that they may have been waiting all year to wear every time they have got dressed...
every Christmas it is important
to make yourself happy,
as well as make other people happy,
because without thinking outloud
and without expressing yourself
then it wouldn't truly be Christmas -
so give yourself a present,
celebrate how you want,
and perhaps reach out a hand
to others and give them
the gift of you this Christmas.

A Poem A Day #67: The Gift of You *Christmas Episode*

“The Gift of You” is a poem that was written by Mark Hastings especially for Christmas Day 2021. You can read the original poem on Mark’s website http://MarkThePoet.Me. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, to one and all! 🎄 🥳

My Poem “The Christmas Spirit”

As so often happens,
I was sitting at my usual table
in Starbucks when a song
that I had never heard
by one of my favourite artists -
the one and the only "Man in Black",
Johnny Cash - started to play...
the song was "I Heard the Bells
On Christmas Day" -
and as soon as I heard
this Christmas carol
in its own right that blessed all
who heard it "peace on Earth"
and "goodwill to men",
I started to think about
the true meaning of the season
and why music has always
been an important way
for families and individuals to say
what they want to say to one another.

Music is just as fundamental to some
as living is to breathing for others...
the voice of a singer can break down
barriers and unite people
from many countries, with many accents,
with many back stories -
who can all find times to set aside
their differences whenever they
come together and stop and listen
to someone with a message
they felt within their heart
as well as within their mind
that someone else needed to hear.

Christmas songs are only played
at this time of the year,
and every year new songs
are written and recorded by artists
that dream of being number one
and perhaps remembered
as fondly as those that repeatedly
return to our ears year after year;
however, I would say there are only
a handful of Christmas songs that are
enjoyed, replayed, and loved by many:
John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over),
"Last Christmas" by Wham!,
"White Christmas" as sung by Bing Crosby,
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid,
"Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues, and, of course,
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey -
because these songs have over time
become quintessential in capturing the Christmas spirit
like no others are able to,
and personally all these songs always
put a smile on my face every time I hear them
and make me more and more ready for Christmas
and overflowing with Christmas cheer. 

A Poem A Day #59: What I’ve always wanted

“What I’ve always wanted” by Mark Hastings was taken from Mark’s poetry collection ‘Poet of the Sphere’ which was published in 2012 by Zeloo Media. Check out more of Mark’s poetry online @ http://MarkThePoet.Me – all poems © Mark Hastings

My Poem “First Christmas”

I don't remember my first Christmas;
but then again, who does?
However, I will always remember
the first Christmases of others -
and Christmas this year
will always be special to me,
because this year will be the first Christmas
of the boy who smiles at me
every time I smile at him:
my new nephew, Milo.

I envy my nephew,
because every day he gets
to experience things
for the first time in his life -
and very soon he will
get to meet Father Christmas,
he will get to receive his
first Christmas presents,
and he will be able to go out
into the snow with his parents
and help them build a snowman.

This year will be the first time
in a long time that our family
has welcomed a new addition -
and what better time is there
for all of us to gather together
and around the embodiment
of our family's love and affection
who is in our eyes nothing short
of being an angel who we love
nothing more than to see
happy and smiling from ear to ear.

This year has been a roller-coaster
for many people around the world;
but, for my family, my nephew
Milo has been the miracle
that I always knew he would be to us
from the moment that he was born -
and even though I know that he
probably wont remember
any of this time when he is older,
I hope that he will always
think back and know that 
he was always loved
and that if our family had
anything to say about it
then Milo's first Christmas
would be a time in all of our lives
that we would never forget.

My Poem “Jingles”

There is a reason
why those jingles that we first hear
as a child stay with us for so long...
there is a reason
why those Christmas songs
that are replayed on the radio
get stuck in our head
and then get repeated by us just for fun...
there is a reason
why a Number One song
catches the attention of someone,
gets shared, and then goes viral
simultaneously all around the world...
there is a reason
why a certain song sticks out
among the crowd of infinite streams
that there are and does not fade
out of the public consciousness
no matter what...
there is a reason
why we get attached to songs,
to artists, to music, to the words of lyrics
that seem to say everything
that we openly want to convey...
there is a reason
why when we need to remember
something, someone, somewhere,
at some time in our life,
we fall back upon that spark of magic
that can only be experienced by
hearing it with your ears
as well as feeling it with your heart -
that can make you close your eyes,
that can take your breath away,
and can sometimes give you goose pimples...
there is a reason
why we hold on to memories
of childhood experiences
that can easily return to our thoughts
after hearing the slightest of jingles.

My Poem “Unbreakable Bond”

On Christmas evening,
as my family and I gathered together
around the hearth of our burning fire,
while enjoying some family time with one another,
I knew that after this day
nothing would ever be the same again
and we would never again
be able do this in the same way:
enjoy a Christmas meal together,
pull crackers with one another,
sit watching a favourite Christmas film of ours –
because what is going to happen next
will be unlike anything that either of us
have felt, heard, or seen before.

Every moment is unique,
every family has their own story,
every new day is a new dawn,
every time you wake up every day
we all have to reset the clock –
just as every player has to do the same
after they move a piece on a chessboard –
and adapt to whatever life has in store:
all the twists, the turns, the corners,
and the constant lessons that we
have to learn from like the constant
students of life’s school that we are.

Next year will be both the end
of one long chapter as well as
the beginning of another stage in life
that will impact so many peoples’ fate…
very soon there will be a sea change
and all predictions of the future
that have been shared will have to be remade;
however, even though I know
some things will be different,
I know now more than ever
that my family and I will always
have an unbreakable bond between us
that is unlike any other in so many
phenomenal and wonderful ways.

My Poem “There is always hope”

When you are a child
there is no more magical
and joyful moment of your life
than around Christmas time
when you get to write a letter
to a man in a red suit, with a white beard,
who on Christmas day will deliver
all that you have been asking for
for perhaps all of the previous months of the year –
and under normal circumstances
there is no one more popular
than the ever jovial Father Christmas/
Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas himself
who children dream about, write to,
and draw pictures of, as well as his
ever present reindeer and his trusted elves.

Christmas is for everybody…
Christmas is full of positive, possibilities,
and you truly start to get into the Christmas spirit
as soon as you start to hang the decorations
upon your newly bought or perhaps your
perennially rediscovered Christmas tree…
Christmas is a season for hope,
optimism, friendship and family…
Christmas is when people need
other people more than anything –
and the greatest gift that you can
give anybody is your time,
because not only is time precious
but it is also free.

Christmas time can sometimes be hard –
even when their isn’t a dark cloud
hovering over every one in every country –
and so many people do not have
the opportunity to be with somebody
on December the 25th,
which is why everybody young and old
need to remind themselves why it is
important to be there for those
who we are blessed to know
as well as for those who may now know
and who may live on their own…
Christmas time should be hopeful
and without fears and tears…
Christmas time should be about
showing love, as well as about being
happy and merry while listening
to Christmas songs that have endured for years…
Christmas time is a wonderful time
that is capable of making anybody
of any age feel as if they are a child…
Christmas time is a whirlwind
of emotions at the best of times,
however when people are at their most
in need of something and someone
to believe in they can look no further
than to whomever matters the most to them
to give them the gift of a Christmas star
to enlighten and to signal that
even on the darkest of nights
there is always hope.

Merry Christmas! 🙂🥳🎄🎊🎋