Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, then a ha’penny will do;
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God Bless you.
Children sing cheerfully and grown-ups count down the days excitedly as snow falls softly from the skies, twinkling like starlight as it settles prettily, sprinkled like icing sugar upon the hard-frost ground. Good citizens stop to greet one another on the street with a smile and good wishes to you and your family, and God Bless You, so merry and bright.
Stop right there and slam on the breaks (ooops – been there, done that). If this is what your run-up to Christmas is like, then I say, like the song, God Bless You, but mine is nothing like it.
For starters, never mind a goose, I’ve yet to make the mad dash to a certain supermarket this weekend to find the freshest, plumpest, free-range turkey I can
grab find before they are sold out by noon.
And this is as unnerving as it is unnatural: forget the snow, what we have here in these tropical climes of south-west England are daffodils. Yes, hundreds of them blooming in all their spring glory along verges as far as the eye can see. This looks beautiful – in March. But in early December? It’s wrong and I’m worried…
For some, it’s all a bit too much ~
And as for people greeting one another happily, I’m all for wishing anyone a ‘Happy Christmas’, but if the postman knocks on my door (note: I didn’t say ‘knocks me up’) at the crack of dawn once more, he can forget about getting any hint of a tip on Boxing Day.
Ahh…but I jest. I love Christmas, I really do. What keeps me going is that in all the craziness, I know that by Christmas Eve, what hasn’t been bought, wrapped, baked, decorated, signed, delivered, collected and thrown in the freezer is no longer my concern.
So long as by then I have my family gathered and a glass of bubbly in hand, then I’m happy and more than a little grateful. What better gift can be bought? None, absolutely none.
Maisy would agree ~
As would Eddie, I’m sure (so long as he has plenty of treats) ~
But I know this isn’t how it turns out for a lot of people; I know that Christmas can be a dark and lonely time for some. I’ve had my share of ‘bad’ Christmases, and I know how lonely it can be when your family is thousands of miles away, but I don’t know what it’s like to be homeless at any time, and especially at Christmas.
It’s comforting and humbling to know that charities like Crisis At Christmas exist, which, with a small donation, give so much to so many.
Whether it is the light of human kindness or that of the pale, winter’s sun warming up a stone wall in a church yard, a message of hope and beauty prevails:
And whether the soft glow of candlelight flickering against the honey-coloured stone of a tiny village church at an evening carol service or the twinkling lights adorning the tallest of Christmas trees in an Abbey, their light shines for peace and calm.
A few days ago, already dark by four in the afternoon and traipsing back to my car loaded down with shopping bags containing exciting things like one or two presents and loo roll, bleach and foil (because what would Christmas be without plenty of foil?), it was the pretty street lights that cheered me and reminded of the reason for my manic and repeated trawls into town, which, at the best of times, I dislike. Putting it mildy.
Last year, I visited a Christmas Tree Festival and did so again last weekend. The call of Christmas trees bedecked in shimmering fairy lights beckoned, and I was glad to snap a photo which also happened to include a bench or two for Jude for her December Bench Series challenge ~
Although this bench at Forde Abbey is more unusual and thought I’d add it in for good measure ~
Each tree at the festival bears decorations hand-made by local community groups with donations from visitors going to a chosen charity, which this year is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Countless souls have been rescued by the many volunteers in the RNLI who brave the wild seas surrounding these British Isles; more than a few have tragically lost their lives in return.
One look inside this delightful little church at Christmas time makes any dark day shine a little brighter ~
Speaking of Christmas trees, having discovered that they, as well as pumpkins, grow at the Pumpkin Farm , I returned with hubby and Aspie D to collect ours, freshly cut, a couple of weeks ago.
Things looked a bit different this time, all the pumpkins long gone, the seasons transitioning one to another ~
But just behind the now empty patch, rows and rows of beautiful Christmas trees, ready and waiting for eager families to take home and decorate. For every tree cut down, six more are planted ~
Here’s hubby tagging ours back in November ~
And here it is now, all dressed up ~
For as long as I can remember, we’ve always put a star on top of our tree, and this year, I’m sharing this photo as part of Hugh’s Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge for which he hopes to raise £250 for The Dogs Trust.
This is my last post for 2015, but I’ll be hovering for the next couple of days and then I’ll disappear until January. Meanwhile, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a New Year bringing hope, joy and peace.
A time to celebrate, a time to look up into the skies for a shining star that tells the story of the true Light of Christmas.
Happy Christmas and see you in 2016! Love Sherri xxx