'Tis nigh of Christmas

Let the essence and joy of Christmas begin


The blessings of Christmas to all the viewers of my website


Pray help those of us who can’t remember

To remember the festive session  


Barry living with Mixed Dementia for 11 years

Yuletide Lament

As a person who has “Alzheimer’s, LBD, and Parkinson’s disease” I find Christmas time to be one of great anxiety and confusion as do many others who have this illness, yet it also becomes a time of deep inner reflection about the festive session, our condition, our past and the ones we love the most, hence I wrote this poem...         



“Yuletide Lament”



Oh miasma in my mind… aurora of a festive sky,

Such mist in the eyes… now shrouds my Noel sight,

Whence clarity is gone from pure crystalline thoughts,

That’s left me with a hobble, that once, was a St Nick stride, 


With a tremor in my hands… that cannot be controlled,

Neither lay hold of pen, nor grasp, Christmas knife and fork,

Raise up a flute of wine, unto those eager festive lips,

Without constantly shaking, for that thirst quenching sip,


Now Christmas approaches… though I cannot retreat,

Betwixt memories of what’s past and my ultimate fate,

When the memories were once crisp as a flurry of snow,

But now smoulder in lament… upon the Yule log hearth glow,


The pungent pine with its charismatic bouquet like wine,

Embraces the nativity star during the period of advent,

Whilst Christmas lights create a tranquil vision of bliss,

Yet my mind now withdraws from the twinkling more perplexed,


Many presents lay scattered around the base of Xmas pine,

Wrapped and then bound… with loving ribbons and bows,

Create a loving memory of my own childhood Christmas past,

But now withered fingers… are defied by such knots…


Now as I gaze at my family the passions of my life,

Tears whelm within heart for the Christmases of yore,

Whence all was joyous… yet now I view fright,                

For I dread the day… I might forget Christmas delights…


As I sit and dwell upon these awesome festive nights,

Children’s stockings hung on the mantel, awaiting St Nick,

I panic and tremble within bewilderments crimson cloak,

Since blood and Christmas… both portray in the deepest red,


Yet with the joy of the season… and blessings of the Christ,

Let the Christmas spirit live ever on within my heart,

Thus I wish you sweet dreams with sleigh bells of the night,

And pray unto God… this won’t be my last yuletide…


Barry Pankhurst


Who has Alzheimer’s, LBD, and Parkinson’s disease   

My Childhood Christmas

The snow flakes, the snow flakes, were fluttering down...

But not a sound as they hit the ground,

The peace the quiet nothing could you hear

As they swirled and fluttered through the festive air,

There was only one sound but that was me,

As I opened my eyes and shouted with glee,

Then rushed down the hall to look and see

Just what Santa had left for me,

The Christmas tree was adorned bright with lights,

It really was such a beautiful joyful sight,

With the baubles all glistening as they twist and turned,

And with tinsel cascading down to the ground,

Upon the top the fairy did sit amid pungent pine of a wonderer’s gift,
Thence there on the floor the presents all lay,

Awaiting a child’s excited hands and eye and with shouts of joy,

“Yes, Yes” I would cry as the Christmas wrapping started to fly, everything I wanted,

Then Mum would be in the kitchen working fast,

Turkey and Beef in the oven roasting at last,

Potatoes and vegetables all bubbling away,

But I still had time to sit and play,
Then the table would set between holly and crackers,

With so much Christmas fare abound,

As prayers were said but just to say “Thank you God”

For this special meal, and all the happiness it brings today,

The Christmas pudding had been steaming away,

Then covered in brandy and set ablaze,

With so many sixpences and the wishbone for me today,

So I made my wish for my dreams to come true and this day forever to last,

But now I grow older and suchlike days gone by,

Yet I will never forget my past, my hopes, my dreams, 
My Mum, my Dad, will always remain in my heart,
Maybe God will let my Alzheimer’s make them last…

Barry © 

When I was Santa

I know that your all starting to think about Christmas in various ways of inner thoughts, it’s also a time for me when I have a great deal of reflection over past years but I try to maintain an attitude of saying that there’s always somebody worse off than myself and not just necessarily with our illness as I still believe I have much to thank God for in my life, so Christmas isn’t a time to be thinking about our illness, so here is a poem I wrote back in December 2007 from a memory recall of one of my past Christmas, but please note the words in the poem are ‘True’ and still echo in my mind and bring tears to my eyes when I think about it.

I spent many happy years as a member of the Royston Round Table when I had my bakery shop (Barrie’s Hot bread Shop) in Angel Pavement, and also I can still remember vividly the happy evenings going out with me dressed up as Santa in Santa’s Sleigh, or parked on the corner of the High Street by Angel Pavement and with the carols echoing out for all to hear as we collected money for charity, Oh what happy days….     


“When I was Santa” 

A Christmas memory I shall always retain,

Is from when I was in the Royston Round Table,

When in Santa’s sleigh we toured the streets by night,
With me inside all dressed up, acting out this fable,

My friends would be the seven dwarfs,

And reindeer from Santa’s sleigh,

Going from door to door, wishing all the folks,
A Happy, Happy Christmas day,

Children would rush to sit upon my knee,

As they told me their Christmas wishes,

Often with a glass in hand, of warming Xmas tipple,
So now you know why Santa cries out, 
Ho, Ho, Ho, and is always a merry fellow,

But by far the hardest for me one night,

Was to the children’s orphanage, Oh what a sight, 
When so many children came rushing out to me,
With Christmas cards full of their hopes and dreams,

As I opened the cards to read their verses inside,
floods of tears down my face would stream,
Oh Santa Please, Oh Santa Please, bring unto me,
A Mummy and a Daddy,

As you will see clearly from what I write,

Being a Santa is not as easy as it might,

But always filled with joys and delight,
Upon the festive season of Christmas… 

Barry Pankhurst ©


Now living in Indonesia with Mixed dementia and Alzheimer’s


Christmas Decibels raging in my mind

The human voice once so sweet unto mine ears, 
Now resonate within my mind with decibels of fear… 
Shrieking of children in excitement of festive play,
Still a joy to my eyes… yet my mind cringes away… 

The dawn chorus revelling in a bright new snowy morn,
Grinds through my mind like vultures on a prey… 
A trip to the shopping mall, musical carols in fight,
Now screech through my brain with unearthly might…

The weekend Christmas market with hustle-bustle and din,
Where hawkers contest… bantering to vend their wares, 
As they all start crying out ‘tis ‘two piece of Holy, for the price of one’ 
Yet I retreat with none, as my wits’ end turns into fright… 

Then whence Yuletide approaches I withdraw into a shell, 
For Hark the Herald Angels… doth no longer toll out well,
As a choir in revelry, of carolling crescendo within tune, 
Will herald my mind… into a festive murky plume… 

But I shall still live in the ‘Past’ of my once beauty to accord,
Yet recoil to the ‘Present’ with it’s painful tones of discord,
And perceive a ‘Future’ whence more starkness might come, 
As I become a fraught being from festive decibels of sound…

Barry ©

“All I want for Christmas”

All I want for Christmas,
Is to be the way I used to be,
With the acquiescence of body and mind,
And the spirit of a bird that flies free,
To walk the pathway of life once more,
With an equilibrium attuned to the day,
Without mayhem tripping at my feet, 
Faltering me every step of the way,
To behold the awakening of dawn,
Ne’er thought of perplexities or dismay, 
Nor view the setting of the sun,
With the fear of life slipping away, 
And to embrace you within my arms again,
Gazing into those purest brown Doe eyes,
Without your weeping tears of lament, 
Of my destiny towards ultimate demise,
So when you go out Christmas shopping, 
In search of the wondrous gift to buy,
Pray try to find me a magical potion,
That rekindles my bewildered life… 

‘Tis nigh of Yuletide

Oyez, Oyez… ‘Tis time to rejoice,
Of Magi journey from the Orient afar, 
To lowly stable neath the star of Christ,
Bearing gifts of peace, Frankincense, Myrrh, Gold,
Oyez, Oyez… rings out mine bell,
‘Tis nigh of Yuletide, whence all should be well,

Oyez, Oyez… ‘Tis time for delight,
Mince pies baking, Christmas cake to be iced,
The pungent pine, bedecked with a festive glow, 
Presents neath, bound with decorative ribbons and bows, 
Oyez, Oyez… ‘Tis time of fare, that makes ye bulge, 
‘Tis nigh of yuletide… whence all should be well… 

Oyez, Oyez… hearken unto mine cry…
Give a thought to those wherein confusion dwells,
When family and children herald out festive tone, 
Thence the Christmas spirit doth echo to confound,
Oyez, Oyez… be of subtle voice,
‘Tis nigh of Yuletide… whence all should be well… 

Oyez, Oyez… if you’re St Nick should wane,
With anxiety in eye, amid bewildered thoughts of affray, 
Then placate the turmoil neath a blissful mistletoe kiss,
Bestow tranquility of mind, with quenching cool ale, 
Oyez, Oyez… jingle out not the knell, 
‘Tis neigh on yuletide… whence all should be well… 

Oyez, Oyez… resounds out mine bell, 
Let not Christmas be your ponderous chain of hell, 
Embrace your loved one… wipe away those tears, 
When memories rush in of your cherished bygone years, 
Oyez, Oyez… ‘Tis time to rejoice… not to howl, 
‘Tis nigh of yuletide… whence all should be well…

Oyez, Oyez… ‘Tis time to reflect,
Of harsh words spoken, of those many Christmases past,
Then look to the ‘Now’… linger not upon future fate,
Thence Christ will be thine unrelenting abiding grace, 
Oyez, Oyez… ‘Tis the time of goodwill,
‘Tis nigh of yuletide… whence all shalt be well… 

Barry ©