living room
clocks don’t tick.
to stand still,
while I pretend
that there is no tock.
hang, my lights,
my many glittery bells,
giving the bright impression
that my life, and my family are well.
I will find a way
to chase away lost days:
catch up with the relentlessly
shifting, silent clock of turning time.
I will wrap the treats my  family really need,
though few of them are found in humble retail shops.
Here’s a list of all the gifts I want to give: health, happiness,
love, love,
love, love,
love, love,

©Jane Paterson Basil

35 thoughts on “Gifts

    1. I’ve been too unwell to buy ANY Christmas presents (or get dressed, most days) so I feel bad about that, even though my family don’t care. My eldest daughter is in charge of Christmas this year, and I’ll pull myself together for the sake of the family. It’s easy to pretend when I’m around them, and it may help.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha; here’s a good story: For 20 years I was caught in an emotionally abusive relarionship with someone who cleverly used gift-giving as a form of abuse. He was extravagant, while making sure I was penniless. He did all the shopping, including buying my horrible. One Christmas when he knew I only had one pair of shoes, and they had holes in the soles, he bought me a long, flowing, pure silk nightdress, and had the manufacturer custom-design and make an ankle-length gown to go over it. I kid you not. Soon after that, our house was repossessed…

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderful poem and I am so amazed that the words fit so perfectly into the shape of a Christmas tree. I have tried similar things before and either the shape was off or the wording felt false with the shape. You did a wonderful job.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Take up skydiving? Hitch-hike around Europe with me and my niece? That’s what she reckons we’re going to do together this year, but I don’t think Sarah would be too happy about it, because when I told her that my nephew has moved on to a refugee camp in Serbia, and I may join him there, she wasn’t AT ALL enthusiastic.
              Remember you don’t like sinter, and you’ll probably feel better in April. Have you ever considered buying a SAD lamp? One of my nieces has one, and It really helped her cat, whose mood improved overnight. She’d bought it for herself, but she has Borderline Personality Disorder, and a lamp is not enough to cure that.
              It can help just to change the way the house smells. A lot of people use unhealthy synthetic room fresheners. I make my own out of essential oils. I put about half to one cup of water in a spray bottle and add 24-30 drops of essential oils (I usually use three oils, 8-10 drops of each), then shake, and spray, to land on soft furninshings and the carpet. Folks always remark on how lovely my flat smells. My favorite oils for room freshening: sweet orange, grapefruit, thyme, cedarwood, ylang ylang, and patchouli (not everyone likes it, and, being strong, it should be used much more sparingly than other oils). There are plenty of others and they all have different purposes.
              I also love rose and neroli, but they’re very expensive, so I would only use them for perfume. Sadly, I have a hunch that rose may be the fragrance for you. It’s one I have a need for, as it combats my issues with femininity. Years ago, I got several tiny bottle of it, cheap, in India, and kept it in the dark, so it stayed fresh, but I’ve run out of it now.

              Liked by 1 person

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