Today is the shortest day of the year – for us in the Northern bit of the world anyway, it’s the opposite down in New Zealand and Australia. Anyway, it’s the winter solstice, so the days will gradually get a bit longer from now on. At least until the summer solstice longest day on the 21st June when the cycle turns back.
As I get older, I find the winter darkness more and more depressing. Just as you get going on a job, it’s time to go back in. There’s never enough hours in the day and that’s assuming it’s not pouring with rain or blowing a gale. Mind you, just a day with sunshine and some blue sky changes everything. Even a short crisp winter’s day.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, we’re just a few days from Christmas. I hate the commercial run up to Christmas, the shops start pushing really hard from the beginning of November, but I love the holiday itself. The house is decorated with the most garish sparkly streamers, the tree is up with the baubles and lights and cards cover every flat shelf. We used to say we did it for the children but now we do it for the cats.. honest!
Now I know some councils get themselves in a twizzle about Christmas – oh no, mustn’t have a Christmas as it excludes or offends those of other faiths. I think they totally miss the point and vanish into a black hole of political correctness.
For a start, it’s no coincidence that the Christmas holiday (as in Holy Day) is around the pagan celebrations of the days becoming longer again. It’s the defeat of darkness by light and celebrates renewal. Nowadays it’s almost a secular festival, the festival of spending. But the spirit is one of inclusiveness and those magical words ‘Goodwill to all men’.
I’ve been wished a Merry Christmas by people of no religious faith, Jews, Moslems, Hindus and even one Rastafarian over the years. And nobody has ever taken offence at being wished a Merry Christmas by me.
When I worked in a shop, a department store, I used to love Christmas Eve. It was incredibly hectic, people rushing to get their last minute gifts and ‘oh no we’ve forgotten the cream and Auntie Mabel’ but that spirit of goodwill was already about. And when the doors finally closed, the last customer sent on his way, that was it for us.
Christmas had started.. at least until we dragged ourselves back for January Sale that seemed to come more quickly every year until it started on Boxing Day. That spirit of goodwill had vanished by then – it was everyone for themselves as they scrummaged down at the bargain tables.
Merry Christmas to You!
I hope you have a special and wonderful family time.
I’d also like to send out a big thank you to those who don’t get to be at home with their family so that we can enjoy ourselves. The doctors and nurses, emergency services, electricity workers, water, gas, phone, TV and radio, our armed forces and the list goes on. All those people who keep things going in the background – THANKYOU!
And finally, looking at what’s on TV this year, you may as well go and sow some onions in the greenhouse! Have a great one and enjoy this video.. I’m sure it was based on our kitten.