Without fail,
on the first of every December,
my neighbour gift-wraps his house
in Christmas decorations.

Using ropes and a ladder,
a life-size sleigh and galloping reindeer
are hoisted onto the roof.

From the porch,
an automated Santa waves Christmas joy,
whilst a dozen plastic penguins ice-skate across the lawn.

Every spare inch of tree and shrub,
daubed with epilepsy-inducing fairy lights.
Whilst a monstrous illuminated snowman,
grins at the cacophony.

But then the inevitable happens…
The 26th of December.
All that preparation and excitement – and now it’s over.

The greater the euphoria, the harder the crash.
And his comedown is unbearable.

Everyone’s back at work.
New Year’s Eve, just a memory.

A frozen weekend,
to unplug, unattach,
deflate and box, his beloved trinkets.

The most magical time of the year,
has hollowed out his heart.

But this year,
he believes he’s found the antidote.
It’s hidden in the shed,
and he showed me…

A new theme,
A thousand bunnies, chicks and daffodils,
eagerly wait for Spring…