Once a humbug….

I’m without a car at the moment, and every time I’ve had to go out, I’ve had to face this…..

and this. Add wind and it’s most disheartening!

While powering off to the hairdressers recently, I found myself, hood up, face down, muttering bitterly under my breath about the rotten weather. Then I realized that it was only the weather that was bothering me. Walking itself was a doddle. Pre-surgery, that hour walk would have been the ordeal. Funny how quickly you forget! I should be grateful I can walk anywhere pain free.

There are many aspects of Christmas that I dislike.

Over-packaged, over-priced tat, laced in plastic, dripping of the shelves.

Overwhelmed slaughterhouses, resulting in many birds and mammals not being stunned pre-kill.

Endless greed, endless waste. Three bird roasts…..a duck stuffed into a chicken, stuffed into a goose…..why is one not enough? How much can a person eat? How much ends up in a landfill?

The ever-growing army of homeless people in Liverpool, setting up home in shop doorways, only to be moved on, in freezing weather.

Abandoned pets or pets being returned to rescues…..oh, I could go on forever!

I feel I constantly have to turn a blind eye and look away and pretend all is well with the world at this time of the year, probably the worst time of the year to do so, says little privileged me!

Yet I do try to get into the festive spirit, I really do.

Eventually I drag the decorations out and put them up.

I appreciate the mince pies my lovely neighbour bakes each year.

I do enjoy the many Christmas gatherings with good friends, however exhausting, soon I will look like a beached whale! There’s only so many enormous meals you can get away with!

Then there are the unexpected surprises, like these olive trees that hubs bought for my planters. He had to give them to me as they arrived early and needed a good watering. I mentioned that I planned on getting a couple ages ago.

They will go either side of the middle planter, hopefully they will be dog proof.

And…..a box of delights from my good friend Kitty, there are so many people shining in this world! Maybe I just need to focus on that!

The annual carol concert.

I don’t have any particular religious persuasion, so I’m happy to visit any place of worship.

Hubs and I always have a fear that any place of worship may collapse, or strike us down if we dare enter, philistines that we are!

This year, a leaflet arrived advertising a carol concert at a local Anglican church, one I had never visited. All denominations welcome, it said, and…. mulled wine and mince pies to be served afterwards.

So, hubs and I trundled off in the sleet to St Peter’s, where we were warmly welcomed, each given a candle, then sent up to the gallery, as the church was absolutely packed.

The concert was beautiful, with a choir, musicians, readings and poems, then the entire congregation lit their candles and sang the remaining carols. Just lovely.

Afterwards, I was pleased to see many elderly people walking home alone. That concert must have made their night, especially the get together afterwards, it’s good to see a community coming together.

And Finally…….

There be a mouse in that cupboard mum!

And Finally, finally…

Here’s to a marvelous, peaceful, happy, healthy Christmas to you all, dear readers.

I appreciate you all more than you will ever know, and have been inspired, informed, reduced to laughter, and tears and left pondering for many a day, after sharing your lives. Keep sharing!

  17 comments for “Once a humbug….

  1. Jo
    December 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

    I do love Christmas, it’s a time when the family comes together and we eat, drink and be merry, but it’s important to remember those who aren’t so fortunate and do what we can to help. Oh no, it looks like the mice are still around. Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas.

  2. December 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

    A lovely, and uplifting, post. I don’t really celebrate it nowadays, and sympathise with people who find it a hard time of year as I’ve done in the past. Like you there’s much I dislike but certainly don’t begrudge those who do enjoy it.
    Thanks, and to you too. xx

  3. December 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    There’s a lot to be grateful for at this time of year, Dina. It’s not just the cold that gets to homeless people but whatever drove them to that life in the first place. I’m grateful that I’m able to put a roof over my family’s heads, food on the table and have a garden (or two!) to pootle in. I imagine that you’re grateful every day that your life is not pain free – just think of all the gardening and walking fun you’ll have next year! As a mum, I like to make xmas with a tree, presents, food, etc but the religious angle doesn’t enter into any festivities, although I do enjoy a good singsong! Wishing you a very happy christmas – to you, your family (inc dogs!) and all your nurtured creatures. xx

  4. veggiemummy
    December 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I’m a bit of an old Scrooge when it comes to Christmas too. I resent the clutter of decorations, the fact that the supermarkets are so crowded that you would think a siege was imminent, not that they will only be closed for one day, and the overpriced, over-hyped tat. BUT: my babies will be home; despite not being religious, I too enjoy a good concert; and I’m very very grateful to be safe, well and warm, with a roof over my head. Your garden is looking lovely and your illuminated penguins are fab. Merry Christmas friend …… and I hope the mouse doesn’t stir too much! xx

  5. December 21, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I do understand your feeling that Christmas has just been vandalised to mean stuffing ourselves and overspending. But I’m so glad you enjoyed the carol service, and just to say, there will be loads of churches round the country putting on Christmas dinner for homeless and lonely people, including ours, and working together to offer winter night shelters. Sometimes we need to see past all the sparkle, don’t we, to people beavering away making the world a better place, like you and the rescue.
    I hope you have a peaceful and loving Christmas, Dina, although I know there will be an ache in your heart. Lots of love and hugs, see you in 2018! xxxxx

  6. December 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I completely agree with you about the mixed blessing of Christmas … Especially where animals are concerned. And, as a new grandmother I can’t get over the packaging around children’s toys. I’ll follow what my friends do & give children books and/or take them places where they can experience a slice of life i.e. the theatre/ museum, the zoo etc to learn about real life.
    However it is a time of happiness to, our little granddaughter is meeting her huge extended families (on both sides) & seems to have a smile for everyone.
    I agree about blogging … It is really fun reading stories from all over the world & getting to know people as friends. So best wishes to you and your family & enjoy all the good things out there… the Crimson Rosellas just flew into the plum tree nearby as I’m writing & they say seasons greetings too! 😍💕

  7. December 21, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    I am surprised how many bah humbugs there are – must admit to being one of their number.
    The worst thing for me about Christmas is that it pulls into focus all the. People that we. Used to celebrate Christmas with and have lost. It also seems that lots of bad times have fallen over the Christmas period. Good luck to those who get enjoyment from it but we are usually just happy to reach the other side unscathed.
    By the way you seem to be having far worse weather than we are. I empathise over the lack of a car but am glad that you are on the mend

  8. Kitty
    December 21, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    I love Christmas. It takes me back to my childhood and gives me space to enter winter wide open to its offerings

    I see how your sensitive heart and artist heart find much that is troubling in how this season is marketed and “celebrated,” but we’ve never bought into that, anyway. Make it what you will, dear heart, and it sounds like you are.

    I am so happy to hear how well you’re getting around; what a blessing!

    Joy to you and yours, and blessing in the new year!❤️❤️❤️🌲❤️❤️❤️

  9. December 22, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    First super season’s greetings to you and your family. A pat and a hug or two for the others in your varied household. Not sure I can do a range of chirps but the feathered friends will somehow know.

    It’s been a varied blog year made more so because of your shared interests and exploits. Thank you.

    Your observations are in tune with so many and totally ignored by commercial interest. I have not been to a large group function this year and not for saintly reasons, I hasten to add. Perhaps I’ll post about it sometime. I think I’ll arrange a wee lunch for a friend’s. Birthday next year.

    A toast to shared blog experiences in 2018! Have a lovely holiday and Hogmanay.

  10. lowcarbdiabeticJan
    December 22, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Christmas can be tough for so many, and we should take time to think about those not so fortunate and do what we can to help.

    Christmas Carol Concerts are wonderful …
    It was our Grandsons School Christmas Concert yesterday – the school go down to the local Church and it really is a wonderful occasion.

    Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2018.

    All the best Jan

  11. December 22, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    It’s not much fun not having transport, but I’m so very glad that you are able to get about and you’re walking without pain now. It’s been an eventful year for you in so many ways. You’re a caring, thoughtful, creative lady and my best wishes are sent to you for a peaceful Christmas with your loved ones and a good new year 2018.

  12. December 23, 2017 at 3:12 am

    I’m unabashed and unashamed of the fact that I love Christmas. The worst experience of my life happened just before Christmas, and there have been some holidays when it just wasn’t the same (as after the death of my mother), but I love it still. I love the music, the services, the readings of St. John’s Gospel, and I’ve even loved those silly Sunday School pageants awash in bathrobes and tinsel halos.

    I suppose my trick is that I refuse to be sucked in by the over-commercialization, the tacky music, the cyncism, and the careful nurturing of greed by our society. I’m a sucker for traditions, and still put out certain decorations that I remember from my grandmother’s house, and bake the same cookies that I grew up making with my mother.

    I believe that darkness won’t overcome the Light of the season, and I look for places of light rather than darkness. That’s why I love your blog so — it’s always, in one way or another, a bringer of light. Merry Christmas to you, and your family, and all those four-legged ones who round your table go!

  13. December 24, 2017 at 1:34 am

    We just recently arrived at a Minnesota cabin, traveling with one boy and meeting the other there (with girlfriend). Having us all together put me in a holiday spirit. So glad that you can walk pain-free, Judy had the same experience after her operation. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  14. December 24, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I can understand the many things that get you down… especially the effect of the picture of a bird stuffed with another bird. I wonder where people get such ideas. But what balances it all, is that each of us who’s blessed to live in a free country, has a chance to live his life his or her way… and that… when we really do it, keeps the alternatives on the table. Since it’s Christmas time, maybe it would be good for many to contemplate the revolutionary ideas of the hero of this holiday, who has become so popular in so many lands, and yet his principles remain ideals. My best wishes to you and your loved ones, and to all your friends and readers.

  15. December 24, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Yes, my dearest friend, definitely… you could go on endlessly! So much is happening because of *Christmas*, the economy-made-feast for forcing people to spend money on useless things, giveaways, presents (most of the time unwanted)…
    For me, one lovely card, one single written thoughts, done with love and care, is more than enough.
    But what about others?
    All this “feasting around” pretending to share the love and good wishes… toasting to the new year to be better or greater…
    But you and I, we know better: health is the most precious gift ever.
    Since years, I can’t turn a blind eye and look away from reality. It makes me really sick inside, and very little comfort is by writing it down, as I do right now.
    I like Shimon’s sentence about “the hero of this holiday, who has become so popular in so many lands, and yet his principles remain ideals”.
    Gosh, he’s damn right…
    But still, these Ideals are alive in our souls, being you atheist, or following the Buddhist principles, it really doesn’t matter… or does it?
    Tomorrow, in Eurovision TV, Emanuele Giosuè will be singing with his choir in the Gentilino’s Church at 11:00 (Xmas Mass). If you have the chance… get tuned! We are going there taking with us as well my old mom….
    A thought will be for you and John and Jenny, but of course to Annie, Buddy and Sam.
    Love to you all from the our whole family :-)claudine & co.

  16. December 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I love your olive trees, what a fabulous present. I am a bit bah humbug about Christmas. It is a great time to enjoy the family and share a special dinner together, but if only the whole thing could be confined to the week before Christmas instead of starting in October.
    Anyway, have a lovely Xmas dear Dina and good health and all good things for 2018. x

  17. Glo
    December 25, 2017 at 4:47 am

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas (here, anyway)
    And all through your house
    Many creatures were stirring
    and one saw a mouse (hopefully only one)..

    Many thanks for the Christmas card 🙂 Such a lovely surprise to know you are still thinking of me even though my blog seems to have gone south. I will attempt to catch up with reading blogs in the new year!

    Great job on the Olive trees, Hubbs! Olive is the other reindeer, you know. (Olive, the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names…., Rudolph, that is, not Hubbs)

    Sending you and your family love and light!

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