The Good Humbug’s Guide Presents ‘Your First Christmas in Heaven’ by Amanda Steel

The poem was written in 2017, for the first Christmas after my dad passed away. in April 2017, after his cancer diagnosis in December 2016. December still holds memories of the call I got from my mum, telling me he had cancer. I make an effort to replace that memory with happier ones, but it’s still strange and sad to celebrate Christmas without my dad. He loved food and Christmas.

Your First Christmas in Heaven

If there’s a heaven

Tailor made to each of us

You’ll be in yours

Winding all the angels up

With just one more Christmas decoration

A light up Santa, or an inflatable snowman

Until your house up there

Begins to look like Lapland

In your own personal heaven

You’ll never leave the house without a spoon

In case you find discounted ice cream

And because it’s heaven You’ll always find it

Or boxes of Maltesers

And sharing bags of crisps

That you don’t have to share

You’ll be decorating the clouds

With those outdoor lights

You used to put on the tree in the garden

And the angels will all roll their eyes

But you’ll smile proudly

Because nothing says Christmas

Like a million multi coloured lights

And angels covered in tinsel

If you choose to look down at us

You’ll probably think we’re doing it all wrong

The turkey’s smaller, the potatoes lumpier

The sprouts might not have those little crosses

You always insisted helped them to cook

And it won’t compare to yours

But we’ll be thinking about you

I hope the angels enjoy your cooking now

Amanda Steel is a multi genre author who sometimes writes under the pen name “Aleesha Black”. She is also a Creative Writing MA student and the co-host of “Reading in Bed” which is a monthly book review podcast. Her website is

Author: Carmen Marcus

As the daughter of a Yorkshire Fisherman and Irish Mother, my writing brings together the visceral and the magical. My debut novel #How Saints Die was published with Harvill Secker in 2017. It won New Writing North's Northern Promise Award as a work in progress and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize in 2018. My poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, The Royal Festival Hall and Durham Book Festival. As a child of an 80s council estate I am an advocate for working class writers and stories. I’m currently working on my first poetry collection The Book of Godless Verse and my next novel. I try to live up to the words of my first critic and primary school teacher ‘weird minus one house point.’

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