It’s a funny old Christmas. Here we are just after midday, breakfast has been eaten and the presents opened. There is nothing to do now but sit back and wait for the Queens speech and lunch, but not necessarily in that order.
However Christmas here this year is to say the least a bit subdued. For those who read this blog and either don’t know me personally or have not been in contact with me directly my mother passed away on 20th December. It was I must say not unexpected, but it is still a shock and of course has put a damper on things. Her cremation is 6th January so the whole sad event is encompassing the festive season.
For all the twenty eight years we have been married the wife and I always spent Christmas day with my mother, we either visited her or she visited us. For around twenty years she lived just over the other side of the cul-de-sac where we live. The standing joke every year was that we were having my mother for Christmas as it was a cheaper option than buying a turkey. Of course this year that’s all been blown out of the water so to speak.
Here is a picture of me, my mum and Sue my wife taken on boxing day in 2007, it does not seem that long ago that we last had a picture taken of us together at Christmas. Perhaps we should have taken more, but it’s a little late to do that now.
So here I am sitting in the office tinkering on the computer and thinking things through, now normally I am not a deep thinker of things, but that seems to have changed over the last few days or so.
But it’s no good sitting here feeling sad, if my mother were here she would give me hell for doing so, she was a generally happy person and people do say I take after her certainly with my sense of humour
This being the case lets take a look at that squirmy part of Christmas day called giving and opening the presents. The phrase most often uttered I would guess on Christmas day is “It’s the thought that counts!”
All in all I am happy with what I have received, all will be useful and some are needed.
Somebody once wrote that the most embarrassing thing post Christmas is to be standing in a queue to exchange something you have been bought only to find the person who bought it standing in front of you waiting to exchange what you bought them!
I seem to remember that it used to be easy to buy people, even relatives gifts. Normally everybody lived close together and you saw them on a regular basis and so knew what they did and did not like. These days it’s all so different with families often scattered far and wide sometimes right across the globe. How do you buy for somebody you may not have seen for ten or more years and in the case of young children may not have seen ever. It’s not at all easy. To me it seems such a cop out when you can only think of things like Amazon or iTunes gift vouchers or cards. But often realistically it’s the best option.
Gifts these days are all so different as well, when I was young about 10am on Christmas morning the local kids would be out on their new bikes or roller skates, up and down the footpaths as happy as pigs in a puddle. Now it’s all so different, gifts for youngsters seem to be things like computer programs or as people like to call them these days Computer Apps! perhaps they are unable to work out how to spell the word program in this usage of the word. Or they are bought tablets and/or smartphones which are often well named as they are smarter than the recipient is ever likely to be. Children need to communicate to develop social skills and what they get these days at Christmas do nothing to to help them with that most important part of their development.
All repeat after me…. “It’s better to walk to a friends house and speak to them than to sit down and send them a text.”
People seem also in the rush to buy the perfect gift that they would hate to personally receive that there is a religious meaning to Christmas. Now being an atheist this is not really a part of the festivities for me though I do realise that for many it is the most important part, and because of that I feel it’s sad that many people forget the meaning of Christmas (Whatever that is, as it means different things to different people.) They just look at the commercial side of things and these days spend a part of Christmas day looking at the on-line post Christmas sale bargains. I think that’s sad.
So there you have it, I could ramble on all day and not really get anywhere. Here the lunch is on and I am fighting well against the desire to have a snack if only to take my mind off things. So please enjoy the rest of the festive season however you do or don’t celebrate, give a thought to those on their own and also to those working today so you can have power to cook lunch and also programmes to watch on TV. To those of the emergency services and those who are through their work forced to be away from their families at this time of year. Don’t worry if you miss a film you wanted to watch it will most likely be on again next year.