Have we lost the meaning of Christmas?

I keep hearing this in my head no idea why but perhaps its my alter ego telling me to write my thoughts down……….

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat Please put a penny in the old man’s hat If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

Christmas is coming! (Music composed by Edith Nesbit Bland 1858 – 4 May 1924 , lyrics author unknown.

I wonder who wrote the lyrics to this nursery rhyme which has been handed down from generation to generation.

The words to me in my head remind me of when I was young and hearing this rythme I would feel excited as I knew soon I would be enjoying a wonderful traditional Christmas with my family.

Christmas is coming, its a festival of plenty but the words Please put a penny in the old man’s hat what does that mean or signify? Why would it be included in what is supposed to be a Nursery ryme announcing a time of joy, warmth, gifts, and family and friends who meet together to celebrate the date of Christs birth. Such a simple concept.

Please put a penny in the old mans hat – is it saying although its a time of joy and celebration never forget the more unfortunate of you and give to charity or donate to the less fortunate?

I think the meaning of this simple rhyme has been lost over time.

Let’s look at Christmas now in 2019. Sing the song and sit back and think about all your Christmases in the last five years. Were they Joyful? I can almost guarantee that some were not.

Christmas now well we are bombarded by advertisements – toys, chocolates, clothing, gifts of varying sizes and prices. You are virtually brain washed. Decorations are put up early, shops sell Christmas stuff from September.

Then you ask the children what would they like, and instead of simple things, you get a list full of electronic toys, games, laptops, ipads, tablets, T.V. and the list is endless.

You sit back overwhelmed by the demands of a very expensive Christmas list.

Stop and think why do you have to indulge in their wants? Who is forcing you to do this? Do you think your children will love you less if you just buy them one present?

Our lives are not our own anymore, we are programmed to follow the many who like lost sheep follow each other, we are pressurised by our children as they are pressurised by their friends to have all the latest gadjets.

Christmas is coming……..Instead of you feeling joyful of the festival to come, you feel instead DREAD. Your mind racing how to buy all these things, checking your credit cards and your bank balances, and wondering if you will have enough money left to even feed your family.

Why? why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated in this way, isnt it time to simply just say NO.

I remember a few years ago a young man who run his own business he worked really hard and having a new relationship it came with two children both females. At Christmas he asked what they would like and they both insisted they had the latest phone, which I believe at the time was £250, each. He had no way of paying for it without working long hours.

My advice to him was say NO, sorry but you simply cannot afford it, but alas he never listened and purchased the gifts. If he had said NO what really would have happened? We need to take back control of our families. We need to make a stand. Christmas is not Joyous for many anymore. Its stressful and it causes friction in families and debt in many.

Christmas is coming……..spare a thought for the homeless, the people who have nothing, the children starving in Africa. Maybe we need to teach our young that we just can’t do it. Its not because we love them less its just because if we do it for that one time, it means for months they will have to do without other things.

I loved Christmas when I was a child. The memory of going to evening mass, with my family and when it was over coming home and my father would always make us ham and poached eggs, then we would go to bed.

We knew if we didn’t sleep Santa would never come, so we forced ourselves to sleep.

My father would tip toe through the house, with his RAF blue long knee socks full of things for us to enjoy in the morning. Our stocking would be full of a tangerine, nuts, a toy and I remember like a mule thing which you pushed underneath and it would fall over. We would spend ages with our stockings, such simple things, but to me the best.

Then when we got up we knew we were in for a treat as there would be sheets of pasta drying on our parents bed and we would be imbibing on home made lasagne as a starter to our Christmas meal baked by our mother an expert coming from Italy. The smells were soooo good. Everything home made, home made cake, pudding, biscuits, mince pies.

Our presents would be under the tree, we got one or two each, I remember a dolly I got one year gosh I loved that doll.

My christmas dolly and my brother peter with his pet chameleon
Tripoli Africa.

Our Christmas lunch was just amazing. There were four children for several years until the other two were born and added.

Oh yes mustn’t forget the Christmas crackers which were treasured whatever was in them always a surprise. Sometimes the cracker would not explode when it was pulled between us, so we would take turns in snapping it to make the noise. First we took it in turns to read the silly motto which came with the cracker the silly joke and laugh and giggle or groan at some, then we would play with spinning tops, jumping jacks or magnifying glasses like they were the most expensive gifts in the world. Oh and of course wear our paper hats.

Some funnies to have a giggle.

What school subject are snakes best at? Hisstory

What do you call a crazy golfer?
A Crack put

What lies at the bottom of the sea and shivers? A nervous wreck

What do vampires sing on new Year’s Eve? Auld Fang Syne.

What’s the fastest thing in water? A motor Pike

Christmas Crackers a source of huge amusement.

We would sit for hours eating and laughing and enjoying each others company. The Christmas pudding would arrive and we would hope that one of us would get the prize the three-penny piece wrapped in silver foil. The person who got it would let out a huge WHOOP of joy as back in the day threepence would buy you plenty. Even louder when it changed from the traditional three-penny piece to a silver sixpence.

Joy for one when they found the silver sixpence.

Once the meal was over we would all pitch in clearing up, dad would have a snooze and we would probably end up playing board games until it was time for tea. The tea would consist of home made Christmas cakes and turkey sandwiches and home made trifle….my mouth is watering just typing this.

By the time it was bed time we would be stuffed and exhausted but replete and happy. The next day was Boxing day another lovely day to enjoy family time together, and a splendid cold meats buffet accompanied with home made chutneys. We would play with our toys, and just chat and have fun. It was always about fun and love and warmth.

Christmas for us was never about the presents. Yes having a present was obviously exciting but the festival itself with all the traditions was what really I felt the most exciting thing.

I stopped enjoying Christmas some time ago now, I don’t consider myself a Grinch not at all as I have always been giving. To me it doesn’t feel the same anymore. It appears to be more about what is given then what is enjoyed.

You can enjoy your time at Christmas just being together as a family, enjoying a meal which did not cost the earth, and a few presents which mean something to the person receiving. Why does it have to be all about expensive presents, and spending a fortune on so much food, there is simply no way it will all be eaten in the two days. The waste bin sadly swallowing more then the humans.

Sit back and just think, do I need all this food? Why do you need so much. The money you save on food could go into the old mans hat…….. instead of the black rubbish bin.

I have known people to buy a goose, turkey, duck, chicken, ham and beef and salmon just for two days. Is it really important to have so much, think of all the animals that have had to be slaughtered to put on a Christmas meal with that much meat.

Christmas is coming………… Enjoy it without the stress the debt and just have fun with your families. Christmas is not about how much we give or spend but about the joy of family. Just being with each other remember life is tenuous and whilst we are stressing over all this money we can loose a loved one so easily. It means nothing Christmas not really, not anymore but our families mean something, and we should just enjoy them and perhaps start a new tradition of less giving of material things, and more giving of ourselves.

This was the best Christmas my husband and I enjoyed together it was an Australian themed Christmas. My brother lives over there and I wanted to share Christmas in some way with him, so we did a bar b q and wore hats, and had kangaroos about the place, and of course Fosters beer it was the best ever. Even though it had snowed. It is a Christmas I will always cherish with my Mike. One to remember.

Best Christmas ever.

Have a lovely Christmas with your friends and family, and spare a thought for the old mans hat…………………………………god bless.

Beautiful Selkie – Scottish Mythology
Sharing xmas out for lunch with family. I think this is the penultimate xmas I shared with Mike before he passed away in 2017.

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