By Bernie Bell

There’s a lot of fuss about people not being able to have their usual kind of Christmas festivities.   For goodness sake! We can’t have a lot of our usual – most things – at the moment!

I am now going to rant – you have been warned……

Christmas had got silly – it had got out of hand. Adverts on the telly implying that we should all get a whole new dining suite, every year, for the visitors coming. And – new decorations every year – new everything  every year.

When I was a child, in our family, we had a bag of deccies which had gone on the tree for decades – and decades. They were part of the familiarity of Christmas – the bag  came out of the cupboard, and we decorated the tree.

And now, Mike and I have been together long enough to have our own bag, with deccies from years past.  Many of them have memories attached to them.  I think the oldest one must be….maybe knocking 40 years old.

I had a set of bobbles  for the tree, each one wrapped in silk thread. The first year I hung them on the tree, my two cats took absolutely no notice of them, or the tree.

I went to bed – came down next morning to find that the tree was down, the bobbles mostly taken off, the ones with silk thread wrapped round them, unwrapped. There was just one left, which we still have, and which still goes on the ‘tree’ – though, these days, we use a willow obelisk, so’s not to kill tress unnecessarily.

Another one with a memory attached, is what I call ‘Bid’s Deccie’.   Thirteen  years ago, we went over to Ireland at the beginning of December, for the funeral of my eldest sister, Bid. While there, we went into the Thrift Shop in Sligo town. If this sounds heartless – we haunt charity shops and so did Bid – the Sligo Thrift Shop and the bargains she got there were a delight to her. So we went to the Thrift Shop, where we got a glittery deccie in the shape of a star – and that is now Bid’s Deccie.  Then there’s a gauzy star, made for me by Vikki….and many others… all with memories and stories attached….

…as with our old ones at home, and Mum would tell the stories every year, keeping the memories alive.

So – what’s wrong with doing that?  Why buy new ones?   And, even worse,  throw the old ones away every year!  No reason at all, except for the brain-washing which has got people thinking they have to have new things all the time.

And – the festivities – yes, it is good to have folk round, but – needs must when Covid drives. It’s simple – just have a Christmas among yourselves, or even by yourself!  With the wonders of t’Internet, you can connect up anyway.  Have a nice meal, raise a glass to absent friends ( another thing our family used to do).  Go for a walk, weather permitting. Enjoy what there is to be enjoyed, and STAY SAFE!!!!

It might even, truth be told, be a relief to some folk to not have to do all that bloomin’ cooking!

And another thing….I have started to come across more and more people who have said that they don’t like Christmas, because it’s so stressful, so expensive etc. etc. My answer is, it’s not expensive if you don’t go mad spending, and it’s not stressful, if you keep it simple.  So, for those folk,  this year might be a chance to change their mind about Christmas – to just take it a bit more easy, and actually like it and begin to enjoy it again.

I like it – and one of the things I like about it is – that I honestly believe that people are a bit more pleasant to each other round Christmas time. And that brings me to the dingbat bishop who talked of a ‘cease fire’. There is a huge difference, between an enemy you can agree a cease-fire with, and a virus which knows no boundaries or concept of a ‘cease fire’.

OK, end of rant.

Christmas is – what you make it – season of goodwill and all that – not necessarily to do with excess and expense. 

Make it what you make it – but please make is a safe one.

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2 replies »

  1. Nice one Bernie, had to keep checking it was you having the rant and not me but oh how true you are. I would only add that Christmas Cards now only go to those we will not see, locals get a Happy Christmas phone call.

    • I must admit – we are very keen on Christmas cards – sending and receiving. We buy them from charities, so – everyone’s a winner.
      After Christmas, they get re-cycled.
      The ones I like a lot go up on the shelves or the wall, and stay there!

      This year, it could help to give the Royal Mail a boost, as volume of post has gone down drastically.

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