Earlier start to Christmas this year
This year we climbed into the attic a week earlier than usual. We put the tree and decorations up a week earlier to add some cheer to our home and the road. We also broke with tradition by cutting the Christmas pudding before the 25th; luckily, Jean [my wife] made two.
The month of December is where our thoughts turn to friends and family while remembering back to the excitement you felt as a small child.
The extracts below are from my favourite Christmas book, which I take out every year at this time. Mercier Press published the book in 1989; the book is entitled “Christmas in Ireland”. If you can manage to get your hands on a copy, it’s a wonderful read. The ISBN number is 085342 95O2; way back then it sold for £5.99.
Many Years Ago – John B. Keane
“If the Christmas that came to our street were a person he would be something like this: he would be in his 60s but glowing with rude health. His face would be flushed and chubby with sideburns down to the rim rims of his jaws. He would be wearing gaiters and a tweed suit and he will be mildly intoxicated. His pockets will be filled with silver coins for small boys and girls and for the older folk he would have a party at which he would preside with his waistcoated posterior, extending benignly and his posterior benefiting from the glow of a roaring log fire.”
Further down the page he adds this very important message.
“But you see Christmas is an occasion and not a person. A person can do things, change things, create things but all our occasions are only what we want them to be.”
A Mother’s Christmas – Hugh Leonard
“My mother who never went abroad in her life was the owner of the passport. It was called Christmas, and it marked the completion of one journey and the beginning of another. To her Christmas was a way of saying – we’ve arrived, we’re here, we’ve come through. Poverty, illness, worries, bills, all the dangers, the reefs, the storms, were past. We were at anchor in a lagoon of quiet water before again venturing upon the high seas.”
Christmas was Surely Coming – Pat Ingoldsby
“My father stood beside the bedroom window on the night you were so excited that you couldn’t sleep and the white pillow-cases were at the end of the bed and the ghosts were gone from the chimney and he eased down the window on the sash and we could hear the sea on the other side of the green. Then my father said it: “Boys … listen … over on the island. Santa’s sleigh bells.” And we listened and we heard then just as surely as if they were there, we heard them … he was on his way … and we better … we’d better get to sleep.”
Christmas is about ritual at the end of another year and it’s also about beginning again. I look forward to re-engaging with you in the New Year and I wish to thank all those who regularly read and comment on my articles.
P.S. ‘”Reasons to be Cheerful – Part 3” is a song from Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
Put it on Christmas Day – Max the volume and enjoy the sound bouncing from speaker to speaker.