1 EAGLETON NOTES: Christmas

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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas

I am not a Christmas person.  I'm not quite a miserable bah humbug type but I have 'views' about Christmas. Although I have no religious beliefs I am quite happy to accept that other people do.  However Christmas seems to have almost nothing to do with religion these days and given how PC we have become as a society I'm surprised that one is even allowed to say 'Happy Christmas'.  It would be interesting to know how many people in the UK now know the true significance of Christmas.  And no, I don't mean its pagan origins.

It seems to me that what we now really worship is the god of Christmas trade.  The news doesn't say anything about how many people went to church but just how much money they have spent in the shops.

Anyway the last time I had a Christmas tree was back in 2004 or 5 when FWKTM brought her children round and made it a condition that I had a tree. I even had three sets of lights on it and lots of baubles.  The first set of lights went kaput when I switched them on in the morning. The second went about half an hour before they were due to arrive and the last set went off when they were walking up the drive.  The lights were disposed of when the tree came down.  I gave the (quite large) tree away after that but kept the decorations for sentimental reasons.  I looked at them this Christmas and now they,too, have gone to a more appreciative home.

However I still have two trees and they mean much more to me than any other tree could ever mean. One was given to me by Catriona (my New Zealand Family's daughter) when she was knee high to a grasshopper and she gave me the other more recently.  The only decoration I have is my Father Christmas given to me years ago by FWKTM. 

So over the next few days I shall enjoy the companionship of friends, eat too much and have to walk  the mile home from Christmas Dinner in weather which will likely be less than pleasant.

Anyway for all that I hope that you enjoy your festive season whatever you believe.






36 comments:

  1. I don't celebrate Christmas, but I fully enjoy the seasonal spirit the comes with it: from baking cookies to going to Christmas Markets. I decorate a tree for the winter season, because ever since I was a kid, it's something we did.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Yes Mersad I, too, enjoy the Christmas markets and the decorations and fun that goes with Christmas in the area around me and I usually make and decorate six Christmas cakes as gifts with a bottle of my home-made limoncello and I send a lot of Christmas cards (though far fewer than I used to). However the rampant commercial festival that it has become is anathema to me.

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  2. Happy Christmas from Cairns Graham ~ enjoy the good company and stumble safely home.

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    1. Thank you Carol. We did. The road has two exceptionally steep hills and they were very icy so I did stumble a couple of times but, fortunately, without any damage.

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  3. Have a good day. It looks as if I'll be out enjoying the sunshine tomorrow.

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    1. Well it was a lovely, if cold, day here yesterday Adrian. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll probably find out when I read your blog.

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  4. I don't celebrate Christmas either :) Happy Holidays GB!!

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    1. Ruby I seem to recall that Christmas is a holiday in India even if it's not a general religious festival. I hope that you enjoyed it and that you have a good New Year.

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  5. Every now and then, I read something in the paper or happen to come across it on telly when they ask people in the streets about the origins of holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. An ever-growing number do not have a clue. To many, I suspect, Christmas mainly means presents, as you say. But I am still convinced that many here where I live try to give the day(s) a special meaning, to set them apart from the rest of the year by singing songs, maybe going to church, preparing special food, dressing festively and spending more time than usual with their family and/or friends. Let me be kitschy for a moment and call it the true spirit of Christmas. I think it still exists.
    Enjoy the dinner and time with friends! I remember Catriona's tree from a previous post, and I hope you'll have occasion to talk to the family in NZ over the holidays.

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    1. Thanks Meike. We had a lovely day and there was plenty of Christmas spirit however one defines that. We enjoyed good food and good company.

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  6. You have hit the nail on the head with the commercialism and loss of what Christmas means nowadays and the all to PC brigade who try to dictate what we are and are not allowed to say. For goodness sake we live in a country that has Christianity and Christmas as its tradition and despite whether you believe or not, or want to celebrate or not, why should others dictate whether you can hang decorations, say 'Merry Christmas' or whatever else. If you don't like it you have a choice (and I am not meaning you GB, I think you know that!) either do, shut up, or go home! As they say...When in Rome do as the Romans do... They same applies to the United Kingdom, or should do!

    I didn't want to 'do' Christmas at all this year. It seems to come round all to quick each year and with the boys now grown up (well supposedly anyway) and my parents 12,000 miles away I just didn't feel like it. But I couldn't quite get away with absolutely no Christmas, so have comprised. No presents this year, we all have too much and don't really need anything...so just cooking the Christmas meal for us three at home and my MIL and her partner and my Aunt and Uncle will come round in the late afternoon evening. Hoping we might try and play some games and hopefully enjoy each others company....it is a thought anyway!

    As for all the crazy spending that is going on, it just amazes me... the shops seem to start advertising it earlier and earlier each year and by the time Christmas actually arrives I think many are bored with the whole idea. Why going to the shops full of crowds of people is also beyond me as well.

    As for your two special Christmas trees, they are what the true meaning of Christmas should be about, special memories of special people and times together.

    Enjoy your food, walks and hope the weather isn't too unkind to you! Merry Christmas and Very Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Serenata. My Christmas Day was lovely. I hope that yours was too. I did, however, miss my NZ family too and was rather envious of their 32 ºC and the pool.

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  7. I make no apologies for loving Christmas. I love all the lights (that work!), love the sparkle, the busyness of the kitchen, the fun and silly games. The excitement of a wee boy clinging on to the magic of Santa is priceless. Right now Owen and his Grandpa are tracking Santa's progress - he's in Thailand. I just love it all. Happy Christmas. X

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    1. Nor should you make any apologies Sue. You have always made Christmas a special family time.

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  8. I obviously came to the right place. You've over-done the decorations though.

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    1. Yes Marcel I know I was being a bit ostentatious but I felt I had to do something.

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  9. We do celebrate Christmas, but I'm not over the top with the decorations, being a member of the gravity school of decorating. (Remember that what goes up, must come down again in a week or so!) We are having an old-fashioned English Christmas dinner tomorrow with roast beef and Yorkshire puds and about five kinds of vegetables. I don't make plum pudding any more, because no one in our family likes it, so we are having a choice of about six kinds of cookies/biscuits and tea for dessert. Whatever you do, wherever you go, Graham, we always wish you the best. May you have a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year's. xoxoxo DeeDEe

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    1. Thank you DeeDee. I hope you had a wonderful day. We had turkey with all the trimmings. I do like Christmas pudding and I like trifle. I had pud yesterday and I'm hoping there will be some trifle left when we return to help clear up the (many) leftovers today.

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    2. PS DeeDee my Mum was also of the gravity school of decorating.

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    3. Though your mum and I never had an opportunity to meet, I have a feeling we would have gotten along just fine! xoxox

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  10. I love reading your views - based of course on a kind heart and depth of character and experience. I also have enjoyed reading all these comments. Christmas can be a time of personal reflection too, and there's nowt bad in that indulgence occasionally! Wishing you and everyone Peace and Love GB.

    Here's my off the cuff Christmas morning poem - or tongue-twister - while I wait for the cake to cook (can't leave to go to Tom and Havi's without it!)

    I'm Kate
    Good mate
    Art make
    Bee's sake

    Early wake
    Now wait
    Late bake
    Make cake

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    1. And a really Good Mate you are too Kate. It was lovely looking cake but the pavlova was spectacular!

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  11. Same thing here Graham...lots of decorations and a very elderly tree. They are not set up. There is ones string of outdoor lights. Christmas has become a gong show. I will have a good Christmas and I wish you the same.

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    1. I hope Red that you did have a good Christmas. We did.

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  12. Merry Christmas GB. Hope you have a lovely day, xx

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    1. I did, thank you Helen. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas Day and that the rest of the holiday is great too.

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  13. I greatly admire your desk area. It speaks volumes about who you are even though I am sure you never planned it that way. As for Christmas, I have always loved it simply because I am a militant atheist and this is our mid-winter time for feasting and good cheer. As you already know, it goes back many centuries - long before this new-fangled Christian religion appeared on our fair islands and usurped our paganism. We are simply reclaiming it. Happy Yuletide Graham! Let us eat, drink and be merry because we don't know how things will be a year from now.

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    1. No I didn't plan it at all YP. I love the desk and always feel peaceful and 'at home' when writing at it surrounded by reminders of people I love. Yesterday we ate, we drank and we made merry and today when the chores are done we will, again, have a good day. As you so rightly say we have no inkling of what will be our fate even a day from now. Carpe diem.

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  14. Well, who really needs more than one or two Christmas trees decorated with true love?? :) ... Of course you should do what feels right for yourself (perhaps with a few compromises for friends/family if needed). Personally I like to put up certain decorations for Advent and Christmas, no matter whether I'm expecting guests or not. The things I do put up all mean "something" to myself. My miniature Christmas tree (55 cm high) was bought 28 years ago.

    PS. I might have a brain block or something but what does PC stand for? ("how PC we have become as a society")

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    1. PC would be "politically correct" -- in other words being in fear of saying anthing for fear of offending someone or other

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    2. Ah yes, of course. Thanks Mark for saving my brain from working overtime during the night! :)

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    3. Monica the things I have around me - whatever the time of year - are things that help me feel close to those who mean something to me. Having Catriona's Christmas trees up just at Christmas means that I can renew the feelings each year.

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  15. I am watching the musical "Scrooge" as I am typing this to you. It was made in the early 70's with Albert Finney as Scrooge. The music is by Leslie Bricusse. He sounds French but he is as British as you are! If you ever get the chance, you should watch it. It's good.
    Love to you at Christmas and every day.

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    1. Kay I saw this back in the very early '70s. I think that the difference between Scrooge and me is that I like to give out a feeling of joy at all times and not just need to be converted to joyousness at Christmas. I give Christmas presents but not necessarily at Christmas. I like to give gifts when I see something I think someone will like. Christmas so often seems like a present buying chore time. I wish for you a wonderful Christmas (that which remains of it) and a joyous and healthy New Year.

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  16. Hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Day with friends and family even though you are not a Christmas person as you put it.
    Gifts from the heart are always the best gifts and Catriona's Christmas trees are treasures.
    I hope that your first Christmas away from New Zealand will be filled with special memories....the kind you will be able to look back on and comment "Wow, that was some Christmas!!"

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    1. Virginia it was a lovely day thank you. In all honesty, although Christmas used to be a time when we travelled South to be with our parents and was therefore enjoyable in that way the most memorable things were some of the awful journeys we had of about 1000 miles in mid winter through the Scottish Highlands (and Lowlands) which were often barely passable because of snow.

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