What will Father Christmas bring, dear jolly old Santa Claus –
Will you have new things for the house – washing machine, cleaner,
Ice cream maker, deep fryer and sundry refinements for living?
You will ponder on what you could possibly request that you really need.

What will Father Christmas bring, dear jolly old Santa Claus –
Will you have a new doll, Barbie, or adopt a Cabbage Patch kid,
Trail bike, teddy bear, drum, books, games, puzzles and toys?
The children frcu~n as they think of things to fill the big sack.

What will we get for parents, grandparents and relations too –
What will be painstakingly made for our friends and families –
Who will we ask to share our Christmas feast of turkey and ham,
Of good food, good fellowship and all the joys of Christmastime?

That goes for about a quarter of our world that looks so lovely from space.
That means that for three quarters of the world there is just nothing.

Our lovely, holy Christmas is just another day to be lived through –
With luck there will be food rations and high energy protein meals.

There will not be tinsel and trees, fairy lights and reindeer.
There will not be bulging sacks and stockings filled with goodies.
There will not be a breathless ~ in the house with nought stirring
As the fretful cries of sick and hungry children pierce the silence.

Silent Night, Holy Night – what a mockery under Ethiopian skies.
There is nothing silent or holy in despair, degradation and hunger.
It can only be God’s great mercy that lets them look at us and smile .
I think were that I, I would hate to the uttermost ends of earth.

We have so much, the ‘haves’ of the world are so over-burdened with things.
Thee ‘have-nots’ have nothing, only the hope that things will get better.
If you know things are so bad they cannot get worse, they MUST improve,
And it is that hope that sustains our brothers and sisters today .

Brothers and sisters, black, white, copper coloured, and sallow –
We live together in a very small world whirling in solar space.
Some of us live so very well, in such utter luxury, even if we think poor –
So, please,  please can we care about the children who have nothing at all?

They have no clothes to warm them, they have no food to nourish them.
They have no vaccines and medicines to make and keep them fit and well.
They have no schools to learn in and no schools to complain about.
They only have the certainty that if other people knew, they would help.

And we know, and we do not help. Donations have been given freely –
But it is continual donations, continual help and continual long-term care
That will make people proud and lively again once the emergency has gone.
Emergency is just that, but do not forget them when that horror has left.’

“They have too many children”, he said so knowledgeably (and with a quiverful)
”Alas” , said I , ”a hungry woman is infertile and no children come from her”.
”If what you say is true”, he said, ”long may their hunger last”.
I thumped his table and turned from him in horror, disgust and shame.

‘They have too many children”, he said, so pontifically and savagely.
”Every woman has access to the pill, so they must want too many”.
Fool. With no clocks and calendars, no shops, money or understanding
What possible relevance will a Western pill have for the poor of the world.

Would you want to see your children shrivel , their bones protrude ,
See their hair turn harshly red, or drop out to leave horrid baldness;
To see your child so lice-infested, so w~ridden that condition has gone
And know that hope of life lies in a feeding centre run by the compassionate?

It is Christmas, season of loving kindness and g~ill to everyone.
If you have filled your children’s needs and cared for all your family,
Then please will you pause a minute in your busy schedule of living
And think of the children who are your children’s contemporaries today.

Unless we care and show we care and make the Governments of the world care,
Then we are really no better than the scorned and dreaded whited sepulchres.
It is our continual fretting against the anomalies existing side by side
That will let us ALL one day share a meaningful, holy and happy Christmas.

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