It is Boxing Day.
The Great Christmas Come Down sweeps across the nation.
The miasma of roasted vegetables lingers in between the far off, foggy memory of yesterday’s celebrations and distant echoes of joyous laughter.
Empty foil and cellophane sweetie wrappers are scattered throughout carpets and hallways,
like empty cartridge shells at the end of a furious but colourful battle.
The left over tension of yesterday’s traditional, familial bickering
and suppressed disappointment rages on in indiscernible forms,
Right up until mid morning when novelty pyjamas are ditched,
in favour of newly acquired designer threads and
the real stirrings of the household begins.
(Apart from the children who have been up since 6, trading and breaking their new toys and relentlessly brawling over the last of the chocolate coins.)
Relentless indigestion and drunken remorse reverbs around the walls,
the sighs of delicate stomachs and click clack of Pepto Bismol bottles opening, drown out the snoring of the lucky ones who can sleep through such chaos.
Medicinal spritzers replace sticky, warming spiced liquor,
Although wine is a suitable and widely accepted remedy.
The ‘left-overs with fancy cheese’ sandwiches are prepared and waist bands and belts are once again loosened,
as the classic festive film reruns churn on in the background,
along with the comforting whir of a full dishwasher.
The half life of Christmas cheer rattles on in T.V land.
Instruction manuals are read or deciphered,
Batteries are swapped and stolen from remotes or other lesser used gadgets,
Gift receipts are safely tucked away in drawers like winning lotto tickets,
away from the hungry black bin bags, heaving with paper, shredded and torn and stuffed.
Final calculations of this years takings are counted up,
Piggie banks are filled, trips to the sales are discussed
and new lists are made.
The toilet never stops flushing.
New perfumes and aftershaves are spritzed,
a small pile of reject gifts begins to form,
ready to make their way to the charity shop in the new year.
The novelty santa hats, no longer in fashion, are stuffed underneath the cushions of the arm chair or left hanging on banisters.
Crackers toys and trinkets are scattered in each corner and crevice in the land.
The curled foil and handmade tags, so proudly presented yesterday, as the glittering finishing touches,
are now carelessly discarded, looking cheap and over dressed.
All day the pine needles silently drip drip drip off the dishevelled Christmas tree,
the fairy lights begin to flicker
and the little ones crawl bravely underneath its spikey branches in the vain hope of finding one last remaining present,
left behind, waiting to be claimed.