Ebenezer Scrooge is Alive and Well

No, I’m not talking about people who are mean with money. I’m talking about the “Bah, Humbug” attitude that seems to be so common these days.

Naomi and I have both noticed this in our daily lives, more and more people complaining about Christmas.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that it is a difficult time for many people, they might not be religious (we aren’t either), they might be alone, ill or have no money. There are plenty of reasons to dread the time of year when it seems like everyone else is happy but you.

Christmas has become very commercial, I get fed up with the constant advertising too and with the ridiculous amounts of money that people are encouraged to spend on gifts. It also annoys me that the shops start their Christmas advertising almost before Halloween is over. I think that maybe this is part of the problem. It’s not special if it goes on for too long.

I think that people put a lot of pressure on themselves at Christmas because they feel they have to spend a lot on gifts and entertaining and that they have to rush about visiting or have all their relatives to lunch. Perhaps they need to sit down and talk with their families about what parts of Christmas they really enjoy and just do those or spread them throughout the holiday season.

What Naomi and I find upsetting though is that so many people feel that they have to continuously moan about it. It gets quite depressing to listen to people saying “I’m over Christmas.” or “Christmas is just for the children.” and “I’ll be glad when this is over.” or similar negative statements.  We both look forward to this time of year but every year it gets harder to get into the festive spirit with so many Christmas Grinches around.  It seems to have spread even to people who don’t actually have to do any cooking, cleaning or entertaining themselves.

The other day I read an article written by another Christmas hater. I don’t remember everything it said but it basically mocked all the things I love about Christmas right down to questioning why anyone would want to eat a mince pie. I’ve stopped reading negative articles about Christmas now and I avoid bringing the subject up with people I know who don’t enjoy it. I don’t want to force others to be jolly I would just like them to consider our feelings too and stop spreading gloom all over the place.

In  Dickens “A Christmas Carol ” Scrooge berates his nephew for celebrating Christmas and Fred makes the following reply.

“There are many things from which I might have derived good by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew, “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round-apart from… the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that-as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.  Speech by Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.

We respect people’s right not to celebrate but we wish they would not spoil it for those of us that do.

So now that I’ve had my little rant I’d like to share a couple of YouTube clips I’ve seen this week, both made in New Zealand. God bless the Kiwis for giving me something to smile about.

 

Christmas in Geeveston

Last Friday evening we had our town Christmas Parade which was put on by the local fire brigade and participated in by local schools, clubs and businesses. We were lucky with the weather, the skies were black but it didn’t rain.

I was in town quite a while before the parade began so I took some photos of the Christmas windows in Church Street and a couple of vehicles being prepared.

Nicholas Butcher’s shop
Outside Makers On Church Street.
Geeveston Post Office
The local water carrier’s truck being prepared.
This float was being prepared next to the local bank so I think that it must have been the Bendigo Bank float.

The crowds seemed to be down a bit this year although it often seems like half the town is in the parade anyway. I chose a different spot from previous years where I could photograph the floats as they entered the main street.

The Parade begins

Our Op Shop had a float again this year and we were very pleased to be named the best motorised float. I didn’t ride on it because I wanted to go into the town to take photos.

Here comes the Op Shop float.
The Op Shop gang on parade.

Here are some more photos of the parade.

 

Share Your World 2018: 17 December

 

Sharing My World This Week

What traditional Christmas decoration is actually a parasitic plant?

Mistletoe.

Christmas decorations outside my friend Karen’s house.

Name something about this holiday season (whatever version you may celebrate) that most people like, but you dislike?

Hmm tricky as I like most things about Christmas and the ones I dislike, such as rampant commercialism, most people dislike. In fact, it seems that most people dislike Christmas these days. One thing that I do dislike that many people seem to enjoy is getting drunk at Christmas parties. Mind you that’s not a Christmas thing really. I do enjoy a drink but I don’t get more than a bit light headed. I don’t see the fun in getting blind drunk.

What’s your favorite – or least favorite –  song sung traditionally at this time of year?

I like the traditional  Carols. One of my favourites has always been “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” but I also love to hear the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah at this time of year.

And the last one ———>  In the song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” what “incriminating” evidence was found on Grandma’s back?

I don’t actually know this song. I have probably heard it but it’s one of those silly songs that I don’t really pay attention to.

Finally:    What would you like to share with the world, if time or cost were no object?

Peace and prosperity and the joy of Christmas that so many people seem to have lost. It makes me sad to hear so many people complaining about how much they hate this time of year.

Christmas by candlelight.

Xmas at the MMPHC (Hospital where I work)

The hospital has been nicely decorated for Xmas once again so I thought I would get a few quick snaps of some of the decorations. Some of the girls come in during their own time to set up the table for the residents Xmas dinner. It always looks a treat and I know the residents love it. I missed out on the inflatables when the residents had their Xmas party last Friday as I had already knocked off. They had their presents and you can see a large clock in one of the photos. I think this is going up in their dining room. The girls in the kitchen always cook up a storm and the food is beautiful. The staff used to eat with the residents and their family and friends at one time. I can remember some really nice Xmas lunches at work with them. Sadly they don’t let us eat with them anymore. Last year the staff got a boring platter and we had to stay in the staff room or go outside in the grounds. We were disappointed to say the least. I was looking forward to turkey and pav at lunch time. Well this year I am not working for once so that makes a nice change. Here are a few photos of decorations around the hospital. I think the girls did a grand job of them this year.

I should add that the woman’s auxiliary also put in a lot of time putting up decorations at the hospital. In fact they do a lot of work all year round for the place and for the good of the community so I will give them a decent bit of praise here for all that they do. 

Another interesting thing here, if you look at the photo of the manger with Mary and Joseph you can see that the baby Jesus is not in his crib. The staff will put him out on Xmas Day. I’ve noticed that some people don’t put him out until Xmas Day while others put him out as soon as the decorations go up. I’ve only come across this tradition in the last few years. What do all of you out there do?

 

Oatlands Xmas Pageant

Wow it has been such a busy time with work and shopping for Xmas presents and stuff. The days have flown by and they hasn’t been a lot of time for posting photographs. I had taken some pictures but haven’t posted a thing in ages. Well Friday the 15th of December was pageant night here in Oatlands so I decided to find a good spot on the High Street where I could take some pictures of the parade. We have a really excellent group of floats. After the parade they assemble in the park and prizes are given out for the best ones. There is also a free sausage sizzle and there are always loads of lollies thrown from the floats. I collected a lot myself as various characters spotted me, ran towards me and thrust lollies into my spare hand. It was a fun night and I managed to get a few photos. Some of the floats were from businesses here in Oatlands while others were definitely not from Oatlands. You can probably guess which are which. The Roxy Supermarket started out with a heap of balloons but it was really windy and they lost most of them before the end of the parade. Anyway here are some of the photos I took.

 

 

 

Christmas Cooking Reblog

A few years ago I wrote a series of posts about my favourite Christmas recipes. I have reblogged them a couple of times since as more people are now visiting the blog and may not have seen them the first time around.

This year I decided to post links to the old posts so that if you choose you can go and take a look at them. It may be a little late to start making a Christmas pudding or cake unless you have several hours to spare but you can bake a batch of mince pies and White Christmas takes no time at all to make.

So once again here they are, my favourite Christmas recipes.

Mince Pies

image mince pies
Mince Pies

White Christmas

White Christmas, this is the version made with copha.

Rich Fruit Cake

image fruit cake with nuts
Fruit cake decorated with nuts.

Christmas Pudding

image ingredients
Here are the ingredients for the Christmas Pudding.