Sunday, 2 December 2018

Goodbye Mistletoe

The first of December is traditionally putting up the decorations day so yesterday was spent untangling fairy lights, looking for the blutac and generally swapping the normal ornaments for Christmassy ones. 
It was while drinking hot chocolate from my Frosty the Snowman mug and wondering just how heat resistant the temporary Santa lampshade was that my husband suggested we were missing mistletoe.
Making a mental note not to get any mistletoe, i forgot about the potentially flammable lampshade and instead wondered if anybody has mistletoe anymore these days.
The tradition says that any woman standing under mistletoe can be kissed and will be dogged by bad luck if she refuses which sort of answers my own question of why mistletoe has fallen out of fashion, that's a court case just waiting to happen, but i can't remember the last time i saw it in anybodies house.
A quick Google brings up a report from Morrisons which shows that while 62% of over-55s have been kissed under the mistletoe at Christmas, 75% of people under 35 have not.
Some people may see it as a sad decline of another tradition due to the current climate of pervy old men preying on younger ladies but it's probably right that it should die out altogether and be consigned to history along with wassailing whatever that is but nobody seems to do it anymore.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Traditional Xmas Dinner Under Threat

The good old Christmas Dinner traditionally includes Turkey with all the trimmings, Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies and enough alcohol to float a small ship but things are changing because the traditional Christmas meal is going out of fashion according to Tesco in their Christmas report.
The report says 5% of 18 to 34-year-old's will go vegan this Christmas and there will be fewer birds on the plate this Christmas with sales of large birds falling by 7%.
The one time must have on the Christmas plate was Pigs in Blankets but now the Sausages wrapped in Bacon are third (64%) behind carrots (71%) and the much maligned Brussels Sprout (66%).
One in five of Brits will choose 'no and low alcohol drinks' on Christmas Day and one in six (14%) drinking no alcohol at all rising to 18% among 18 to 34-year-old's, and falling to 11% amongst people aged over 55.
Finally, beside the plate will be the traditional cracker or rather 60% of plates because 40% don't bother with them anymore.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Shoebox Appeals

I'm all for keeping religion out of Christmas, much better to make it about Santa and snowmen then the nativity story stolen from older religions around at the time but not everyone feels the same way including the people running Operation Christmas Child who ask you to pack a shoebox with gifts for children in Africa.
What a nice idea, and as the website says, 'A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal' but then hang on, what's that next bit 'Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child'. Christmas of all times...sneaky buggers because while you think you are sending gifts and toys the Operation Christmas Child owners, Samaritan's Purse International, stick a Bible in there and post it off to African children or to be more precise African Muslim Children.
They even have a story about how Angella in Malawi received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with presents last year and has since led her Muslim family to Christ.
Humanists UK are urging potential shoebox-fillers to consider other options such as Hope or Aquabox who won’t place any religious literature in the boxes.
Richy Thompson, Humanists UK’s director of public affairs and policy, says: 'Those who donate to the scheme are well-intentioned and want to make an altruistic contribution, but donors in the UK should be aware of the nature of Operation Christmas Child’s activities and instead find a reputable and inclusive charity that has no ulterior motives and only has children’s best interests at heart'.
As religion is the cause of far too many wars and conflicts around the World, the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal is far from a benign initiative to give gifts to needy children at Christmas time which is all we want to do, not force religion down their throats in exchange for a few toys.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Nightmare At Christmas

It's that strange time of year where we see zombies, skeletons and witches alongside Santa, red nosed Reindeer's and snowmen in the shops as Halloween meets Christmas.
Today i went five steps from pressing the button on hand of a skeleton which played 'Thriller' to pressing the button of a snowman singing about his dreams of a White Christmas.
Gregg's had two adverts in their window, one for bat shaped cookies and cup cakes with marshmallow eyeballs on them and another for their Festive Bakes (coming to a store near you 9 November).
As Jesus came back from the dead i guess there is a tenuous link between him and Zombies and i understand how the shops want to get the Christmas ball rolling as soon as possible but would it have hurt them, to wait the ten days until Halloween has been and gone and then packed away the creepy stuff and hit us with the cuddly Santa's?

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Merry Christmas Orthodox Christians

Today is Christmas Day but only for the Orthodox Christians who are made to wait an extra 13 days after the other Christians have unwrapped their presents because they still use the old Julian Calendar.
Being Christian they abide by all the other religious Christian stuff but i wasn't interested enough to look up what Orthodox Christianity is all about, i'm a non-orthodox Christian and i have no idea what my own religion is all about so Merry Christmas to all Orthodox Christians and don't worry about being 13 days behind the rest of the Christian religion because both of you hold views that are centuries out of date anyway so what's an extra near fortnight.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Tonight

Where i am sat on the South Coast of the UK, it has just turned 24th December, Christmas Eve.
Due to the time difference in parts of the World, when i wake up in around 8 hours time, Santa will have left the and will have already began leaving presents for good children.
Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. But keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather and here in the UK Santa usually arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on Christmas Eve but we have had some very wild weather today and the man on the BBC weather predict it will carry on tomorrow so it’s really unpredictable but we do know that Santa only arrives when children are asleep. And remember, he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when your awake!
In most countries, it seems Santa arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on Christmas Eve. If children are still awake when Santa arrives, he moves on to other houses but he does return later but only when he is sure that the children are asleep!
As usual the people at NORAD will be tracking Santa so i'm going to bed now and when i wake up in the morning and am tucking into my cereal, Santa will already have began.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Another Angel Gets It's Wings

Joseph and Clarence are looking down at a scene of a man who has stopped by the railings at the centre of a bridge, the snow is falling hard as the desolate man stares down at the water, desperate, trying to make up his mind to act. He leans over looking at the water, fascinated, glances furtively around him, hunches himself as though about to jump.
Looks like we'll have to send someone down again' says Joseph, 'a lot of people are asking for our help'.
'Isn't that Donald Trump?' asked Clarence.
'Yes, tonight's his crucial night. We'll have to send you down immediately and if you do the right thing with Donald Trump then you will get your wings'.
The man clambers up onto the top of the icy frame and closes his eyes when a voice behind him says: 'Good Evening'.
Donald gasps and turns sharply to see an Angel stood in the snow behind him.
'Don't try and save me, i'm going to jump' cries Donald and the Angel shakes his head, shrugs and says 'Don't worry, i won't'.
'If you jump in i won't leap in to save you either' warns Donald, desperately clinging to the bridge support as the cold wind whips snow around him.
'Fine' says Clarence, 'i promise not to jump in'.
Donald looks at him surprised 'You what? Haven't you been sent to try and save me?'
Clarence shakes his head.
'Hey, your supposed to show me what the World would be like if i never lived'.
'Hmmm, this isn't going to be so easy. So you still think jumping off this bridge would make everyone feel happier, eh?
'Well i did but thinking about it, i don't know. I suppose it might be better if i'd just never been born at all'.
'Nope, your right, you've got your wish' said Clarence.
'You mean you'll make it that i had never been born. No worries? No £21 trillion debt? No prison for collusion with the Russians? No war with North Korea or being hated and ridiculed by every other World leader?' said Donald eagerly.
'Nah' said Clarence, 'you were right first time, this will make so many more people happy' and with a great leap forward pushed Trump off the Bridge.                                   
On a Christmas tree somewhere a little silver bell swings to and fro with a silvery tinkle and a small child closes the cover of the book she had been reading and points to the bell.
Meanwhile, up above a small star twinkles brightly as Clarence, Angel Second Class, is handed his wings for a job well done.