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A tragicomedy in verse which pits the joys of friendship and humour against the madness and melancholy of the festive season, by the much-celebrated Irish poet, Paul Durcan.

For anyone who has ever had too much of Christmas or felt left out of the festive cheer, Christmas Day contains a lifeline of humour and sanity in a world run seasonally mad. This is a piercingly honest, sad and funny poem about two men spending Christmas Day together.


[A]n intimate soul-searching, by turns painful and savagely funny

Dominic Cavendish, Independent

He is a master of minor tragedies and melancholy, self-mocking humour... It is a beautiful, poignant and wry piece of writing. The firm yet hesitant friendship between these two men is the most genuine note of goodwill you could come across in a whole month of Christmases

Maggie O'Farrel, Independent

Melancholy yet achingly funny


Like all first-class comedians, he is deadly serious

Terry Eagleton, Stand

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    August 1, 2002

    Harvill Press

    96 pages

    RRP $21.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    September 30, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    96 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Paul Durcan

The Days of Surprise
Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have my Being
The Laughter of Mothers
Life is a Dream
The Art Of Life
Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil
O Westport In The Light Of Asia Minor
The Berlin Wall Cafe
Snail In My Prime
Cries Of An Irish Caveman


Two Weeks 'til Christmas
The Odyssey
Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil
Elmer's Christmas
How To Be A Domestic Goddess
The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
Twelve Days of Christmas
The Iliad
A Snow Garden and Other Stories
Oliver The Cat Who Saved Christmas
Introducing George The Poet
The Polar Express
Alfie's Christmas
Santa's Outback Secret
A Christmas to Remember
Skipping Christmas
Father Christmas Needs a Wee
A Week in December
In the Flesh
New Poems Book Four