There's a sort of buzz around the workplace as people talk about Christmas, or rather, exclusively their preparations for the event. Some have wrapped presents, some have yet to buy them, "I've been sooooo busy." Some are having their families round to share a Christmas meal, others "nice and quiet, just the two of us." Some are having turkey, some "Can't stand the stuff, we always have steak." One or two are panicking that the cards will need a first class stamp now because they've only just got round to writing them.
Some have a heavy calendar of social events (generally but not exclusively, the younger set,) others just have the one special 'do,' and some don't do anything.
None of them have talked about the reason for Christmas.
Yet in their own way, there is something of the ethos of the day about their activities. My line manager said today that he enjoyed giving presents more than anything else and seeing the joy on his children's faces. Others have families visit for the day and cater for those less able to do it themselves. People send prezzies to the troops fighting abroad and others give to charities to help those most in need. There is a general air of goodwill, fewer crimes are committed on Christmas Day and there are thoughts of those no longer with us but who live in our memories.
Yes there is hardship and that's the flip side with pressure to buy things, pressure on finances, unhappiness for those alone or in combative relationships, depression as years move along at a pace, sadness at opportunities missed, missing any hope of things improving - a world apart from what they would like to experience and a huge contrast to the commercial view of an ideal Christmas and what should be a wonderful and joyful time of year.
Christmas with my family and children (my other half doesn't celebrate Christmas) is very important for me. I do all the prep: cards, buying, decorations, cooking etc., and it's worth every second of effort.
Ghosts and shadows of Christmas Past for me are not like those experienced by Ebenezer Scrooge, rather they are full of happy memories living in our large (tall) Victorian house with my parents, frustrated that I never got out of bed early on Christmas morning. Lovely presents, simple, inexpensive (they hadn't much money) nevertheless lovingly given with coal fires in the background, a real tree and paper chains, glass baubles, tinsel and old fashioned wall decorations of silver and gold coloured leaves.
We always had turkey, sometimes quite a large one and I can even remember one being cooked upside down one year (it still tasted good) followed by Christmas pudding cooked with sixpences covered in silver foil in the middle. Home made mince pies with real cream really completed the stuffed experience. Afternoons were listening to the Queen's speech, a walk if it was crisp and cold and them a buffet tea followed inevitably by Morecambe and Wise shows.
This year, my mum and dad are round and we'll all stay in all day with an afternoon film, with tea around 5 pm consisting of a traditional turkey roast, followed by playing board games and NO television unless there's something VERY special.
Looking forward to the snow in the next couple of days, forecast by the BBC which will give the Christmassy feel.
I had the good fortune of being asked to day to do a Tarot reading for someone at work (who I know hardly at all) which went very well indeed and I have another one planned for Sunday afternoon. I trained about three years ago and have just renewed and refreshed my acquaintance with the cards, something I really enjoy doing. A charitable donation of the sitter's choice means the reading was not only done for a good reason but a charity benefited as well.
Hope the rest of your week goes well; don't feel too stressed and take care with the white stuff.