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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What does Christmas mean to you?

What does Christmas mean to you?

This time of year can mean lots of different things to people, depending on which side of the faith argument you come down on.

I'm not going to go there... The TRUE meaning of Christmas.

For my part, I've never gone overboard (I don't think) at Christmas, during what often turns out to be the Big Spendfest... Presents are chosen to suit the intended recipient and are not especially designed to impress. I try not to spend too much.

One of the best Christmases I spent with my family, my husband had chosen some very thoughtful little pressies for me from a shop called Poundstretcher. He received some guitar strings from me. Things were very tight that year. The memory of very pinched Christmases strays never far from my mind...

I try to spread the cost of Christmas through the year. All the family's birthdays also fall during these short, dark months, so it can be a very expensive time and could spiral out of control, but I try never to allow that to happen.

My search for family pressies begins with the internet auction sites, second hand and charity shops, junk shops and outlet stores. I'm not totally parsimonious, I must admit, but nobody finds an original oil painting, anything with diamonds in it, or a designer handbag in their stocking. No.

So I thought I might share with you this list - "What Christmas means to me" - You might see it as somewhat of a frivolous list:

The first sighting of Robin Redbreast in the garden
Slurping Chocolate Cherry Liqueurs
Enjoying two kinds of baked stuffing, one of which always has to be sage and onion, always separate from the turkey that my vegetarian self now never eats...
Time to put my feet up and catch up with some Christmassy films, such as Mousehunt

Christmas Cake heavy with dried fruit, marzipan and soft icing, and rich Christmas pudding burning with brandy, the flame turning blue... I'll be seeing the dentist early in the New Year!

Getting fed-up with the endless perfume commercials on TV promising beauty and opulence...
Parcels glittering gold and silver under the green tree
Red, Gold and Green colours about the house
Bruce on the radio singing 'Santa Claus is Coming To Town'
Not being able to see the carpet for crisp, ripped wrapping paper
Giving my best cutlery - Kings pattern - its annual outing
Steamed up windows in the kitchen as my husband cooks lunch while sipping advocaat
Kitschy Christmas napkins and cake on paper plates (my mother's tradition. She had no shame, the woman!)
Making a home-made sherry trifle you could stand a spoon up in
The tingling anticipation and excitement of Christmas Eve...

Why are so many of my traditions about food? It's no wonder my plans to become a Sticktoria Beckham lookey-likey are regularly scuppered!

Most of all, for me, Christmas and New Year are about spending time with friends and close family, and feeling warm and replete with hugs...

May this time of year bring to you thoughts and feelings to gladden your heart...

And, whatever you believe, may the days ahead of us be happy!


Gigi said...

You, my dear, have totally nailed the whole Christmas thing.

Merry Christmas, to you and yours!

Zuzana said...

Dearest Fhina, to me Christmas is all about being with the ones I love.;))
Stopping by to wish you lovely Holidays and all the best in 2011.;)
Much love,

slommler said...

You are so right! It is all about family and close friends. Sharing the time and the re-telling of old stories. Fun times!!
Merry Christmas dearest one

The Dotterel said...

Couldn't agree more with the 'chosen well/not to impress' philosophy of present giving. Which is also why I never give money. But Christmas, for a singer, means pretty much one thing: music. Endless concerts, lots of carol singing and post-concert merry-making. I love this time of year because I love what I do. But by Christmas Day there can sometimes be a slight feeling of anti-climax as you realise all that fun has finished for another year.

Siobhan said...

That really does sound like Christmas. I hope you have a happy Christmas filled with all of the above. :)

Derrick said...

This is definitely the time of year to find something frivolous (and sparkly) in our stockings. Enjoy the cherry liqueurs! A very Merry Christmas to all of you.

Suldog said...

Lovely thoughts, all (well, except the Bruce song, which I don't much care for, but I'm sure I like some songs you wouldn't, so never mind.)

A Very Merry Christmas to you! May your days be jolly and bright!

Olga said...

Have a wonderful 2011 with lots of good food!

libby said...

Agreed with so many things there...love the image of the kitchen windows while hubby cooks..just like here! Have a lovely time.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I love all the things that encompass Christmas for you!!! Wonderful!!! Merry Christmas!! ~Janine XO

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi Fhina.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year ~ Eddie x

Fernanda Rodrigues (Fê_Notável) said...

Christmas is time for a new beginning! =)

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! =)

Chairman Bill said...

Bah, humbug - and lots of wine!

Merisi said...

Beautiful thoughts about the meaning of Christmas, thank you for sharing them with us!

A warm and cozy Christmas season to you and your loved ones,

Something I wrote earlier...

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