Seasons greetings to you all at this festival to celebrate consumer greed and over indulgence. Some of you will recall it was introduced initially in the 1980s to replace a Christian festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Since those early days the festival of greed has grown exponentially each year as we now spend more than ever buying things for people they don’t want or need and buying enough food to feed a family for a month & eat it in 2 days or less.
As I type this post, I am just thinking of how fortunate I am to be sat in the house of my loved one and looking forward to having Christmas Day with her and her family. As well as popping out on Christmas morning to see all of my family at my sisters some 15 or 20 miles away before coming home to a fantastic feast prepared by Michelle and having a glass or two of Appletize or something similar like Ribena.
I am struck by how fortunate I am compared to those who are unable to see any of their loved ones for any number of reasons, especially those who are working protecting this country, whether our troops in Afghanistan or elsewhere or those essential service workers, police, fire personnel, medical staff etc. As you prepare to strangle Auntie Ann for complaining how films on TV are not like they used to be (or as you threaten to insert your nephews new drum somewhere the sun doesn’t shine if he doesn’t stop playing it when you are sleeping) spare a thought for those who would love to be facing those family arguments today.
There are so many others who are less fortunate than me. Included in this are those who are homeless or alone at Christmas, although I’m sure that by some stage on Christmas Day some people would like to be alone – at least they have the choice
Then there are those who are bereaved. Christmas is hard when you have lost a loved one at any time of the year, but it seems so sadder when someone dies near Christmas. Today alone, there were three people killed in a car crash on the A68 in Scotland and 2 fire fighters murdered in New York State. Not only are the families of these suffering, but so are so many families and friends.
To change the mood a little, I am always cheered up by the thought of Boxing Day and the chance to go and see some football – weather permitting. If I was a sad nerdy individual without a life, I could watch Northern Leagues games at Spennymoor (v Shildon) at 11:00 then perhaps pop along to Bishop Auckland v Newton Aycliffe at 13:00 and then listen to the commentary on Man United V Newcastle United at 15:00 whilst driving back to Michelle’s before watching the Villa v Spurs game on TV at 17:30 and then Stoke v Liverpool on TV at 19:45. Is 5 games in one day too much? Then again, I could sit on the sofa and eat turkey sandwiches and watch the joy and happiness in Eastenders.
Choices choices choices. Its so hard trying to decide.
As I sign off, can I just say remember those who are cooking the Christmas dinner today wherever you are, and all the hard work they have put into it. As you are sat cracking open another drink, they are stressing over the cooking etc. Christmas dinner doesn’t just cook itself. Let them know how much you appreciate the effort they make.