Christmas: The good, the bad, the funny and the damn right inhumane!

Well the world didn’t end and Christmas 2012¬†is going to happen. I want to share with you my views on Christmas and what it means to me. I also want to tell you various stories that I have heard this festive period… the good, the bad, the funny and the inhumane – you can decide which is which ūüėČ

I’ll start with one that was to do with the end of the world because it really made me laugh. Someone told me that they had a friend who completely and utterly believed that the world was going to end at 11.11am on Friday¬† – like some others I am sure. The person decided to test this belief and said that their friend should buy a sex toy for their Dad and have it ordered and delivered to his address ready for Christmas Day – because if the world was going to end like they oh so believed, it wouldn’t matter would it?! I think the friend took up the challenge and I now think he will have a very awkward present opening session on Christmas Day. But not to worry, it’s not the end of the world ūüėČ

So yes Christmas is going to happen. Christmas is, in literal terms, the birthday of Jesus Christ but as time has passed over centuries, it is not just the Christians and other religions who celebrate it. Some people think it is wrong and that we should remember this actual meaning. Being a non-Christian and un-religious individual myself, I don’t think you have to believe in Jesus in order to appreciate Christmas and I don’t think that you should have to believe in order to celebrate it. As for believing in Santa – well that is a whole other issue! I think Christmas has evolved and it is now about what it represents to each of us. For me, it is about family and friends and having time off work and very good reason to spend quality time with these groups of people. Not that we need an excuse but I am sure you know what I am trying to say….

Christmas has become commercialised¬†and it shouldn’t be about the presents¬†– well in my opinion it shouldn’t be about expensive ones. People who get into debt because they feel they have to spend money to keep people happy are just ridiculous. It is a little bit about the presents though, treating your loved ones, giving and, if you’re lucky, receiving some in return. One of the things I look forward to the most on Christmas day is people opening the presents that I have bought them…. very exciting. So it is about being generous yes, but you should only ever spend what you can afford. My boyfriend’s mum told me a great story. She does a lot of work for the Border Collie Trust and goes to pet shops in order to fund raise. She noticed this one woman at a store she was at and she went round the store with a huge trolley. She filled it with dog food, blankets, toys. She then paid for it all and gave it all to the charity. Now that is an example of a season of goodwill.

Another good will story I heard was about a homeless man.¬† Someone posted on Facebook that he walked past a homeless man and then felt such guilt as he saw him shivering in the Decemeber¬†weather that he walked straight to the market and bought gloves, a scarf and a KFC¬†meal for the homeless man. He was overjoyed and touched and asked the generous man to sit with him while he ate. He told the story that he was on the streets because he had¬†a drug problem and he was getting over it before he returned to his family. I don’t know a lot of details and I won’t judge. Naturally, some people did and called him a ‘waster’ or whatever but we don’t know the background and I hope he gets over this and his family accepts him back in time for Christmas. The man who bought the items and and gave up his time is compassion personified in my opinion.

Food is something we all go crazy about this time of year and it does make you think, when you hear of people on the streets who don’t have any, let alone luxury and an endless supply of chocolates and snacks. I am the same, I admit. Being whisked into the buzz of western society, I am conditioned to believe that we need to have all these special foods in order to make Christmas perfect, when really that is nonsense. Friends and family will do that, like I mentioned above. But anyway, yesterday I sent my boyfriend to the supermarket with a long list of food to get. I added little notes next to it so that it was just right. I talked him through it before he want (control freak, moi?!) He came back with the shopping and I couldn’t find the Chocolate log for Christmas Day. I also found a couple of bars of chocolate that weren’t on the list. He explained that he thought ‘chocolate log’ was in fact ‘chocolate 10g’ so he bought me a bar of chocolate so I could get my 10 grams! Ha! He said he wondered why I wanted just 10 grams!

I also read a story about a young¬†woman who dropped a bottle of wine at the entrance to the supermarket. We can all picture the scene. Shopping done, paid up and juggling all the bags as you stumble out to the car, dying to get home to put the kettle on. The bottle smashed to the floor and did anyone help?! No. They complained about her being in the way, made jokes about needing a straw¬† or just shuffled by. My friend, who posted the story, went to help. She seemed shocked – says it all really. My friend also said he thought humans are ‘such twats’. From this story, I tend to agree.

Like this young woman, I am not so fond of supermarkets myself at the minute. I crashed my car into a trolley bay yesterday and I have a huge dented and scratched door on the passenger side. I don’t blame the Christmas rush, I don’t blame the mad Christmas shoppers and lack of parking spaces, no I blame myself and the fact that I didn’t even need to go to the supermarket anyway oh and my awful parking skills! Happy Christmas to me! But it was all put into perspective¬†when I thought that at least I wasn’t in an accident, I wasn’t hurt and ¬†I have a home to go to (not like the people in the floods). So, it’s nothing really – not that that stopped me sobbing, shouting and swearing at myself for the whole morning!

Today, has been a lot nicer. I have spent the afternoon with friends exchanging gifts, playing games and listening to Christmas songs. I also received a lovely bunch of flowers and a card from my boyfriend’s rowing club. This was to say thank you for supporting my boyfriend, not complaining (too much!) about him being away a lot and a general thanks. My boyfriend received a card and a sat-nav for his efforts too ūüėČ So that was a very touching thing to happen today.

So there you have it… many festive moments and they are all what life is about I guess. Christmas can mean lots¬†of things to us and it is interesting to see what it means to you.¬†Oh and ….¬†‘Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.’

Merry Christmas readers, visitors and bloggers!

My lovely flowers that gave me some Christmas cheer….

It’s a Party and I’ll Analyse if I want to….

It is the party season, as we call it. We celebrate with work parties, christmas parties, family parties and it got me thinking of all the meanings of the word ‘party’. Of course there is the political party – which really is no fun, but like a social party could probably be improved with some alcohol! In this case, it is just a gathering of people then. Is this loosely what a party is?

This weekend, I am going to two parties. Both christmas parties, but one is at a rowing club and one is at an old people’s home. I thought to myself, ‘When¬†did my life get this odd?!’ The rowing one is an annual one and we celebrate with all the rowers and partners at my boyfriend’s rowing club. To look a little more closely at the party it is actually 40 odd local sports men and women sitting eating buffet food in a small wooden building! It is fun though and luckily so many people come and generously, in addition to food, give body heat so it isn’t too cold! As for the party at the old people’s home, I am not sure yet! It will be my first but since my Grandad is now at one, we are going to it. I’ve heard there is food and raffle so should be similar to the rowing one but just with a different party of people!

I have also, this week, had two work parties. They were¬†meals in town though and even though we referred to them as department ‘meals’ they are still classed as the generic ‘work christmas party’. Very nice meals and company. But miles apart from a ‘house’ party full of spilt drinks and fumbled snogging¬†til the early hours. Over the holiday period we will be having an ‘after’ party at ours¬†after our annual pub eve – where everyone we know meets at the same pub and we all get very merry in the name of Christmas. Our ‘after’ party is pretty much¬†a place to go to when the pub is closed and we have boozingly eaten take-away food and are ready to begin drinking again!

We will also have a New Year’s Eve party and in the sense of the word this is what I think of as a typical ‘party’. People will turn up with booze and food (I hope) we will chat, dance, play silly drunken games and eat various food and drink some really weird drinks. Guests will then ‘crash’ and stay over after the party has finally fizzled at 3am (ish). The then next day because it will then be morning it is no longer called a party but we will all have a lovely hungover fry-up breakfast together! To me that is part of the party really and has become part of the tradition just as much as the alcohol and silly antics.

As a final mention there are Tupperware parties (or there were in the 80s) that have now been replaced with Ann Summer’s parties or Body Shop or Avon parties, which let’s face it exist because they combine women’s favourite things of wine, chatting, laughter and shopping (and sex in the Ann Summer’s case!). Maybe any kinds of social gathering that we enjoy, we call a party. It makes it sounds more fun doesn’t it? Would you like to come round for an Ann Summer’s eve? Nah, not the same. It has to be party.

So yes different kinds of parties all make up our party holiday season. They all differ for other reasons too. Like which music we are into, how many friends we have, what food we have in, how much money we have, what mood we are in…. but if friends and family are there and we having a good time, then who cares what kind of party it is?!

So enjoy partying this Christmas and remember ‘Nobody¬†looks back on their life and remembers the nights that they got lots of sleep!’ ūüėČ

XSXS

An Optimist sees the Doughnut; a Pessimist sees the hole!

We all know if we are one of those people who looks on the bright side of life or if we revel in doom¬†and gloom. Some people may even claim to be somewhere in the middle – a realist perhaps. I am,¬†I fully declare, an optimist through and through. My glass is always half full (in fact¬†it is always full¬† – because why wouldn’t you want it topped up?!) and the answers are definitely¬†not at the bottom of that glass or bottle. We make ourselves happy and a lot of that is positive thinking. (See my previous post on Buddhism too: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/a-happy-soul/).

You find especially at this time of year, that the pessimists and the optimists really stand out. There are the people who embrace the¬†upcoming celebrations. They happily shop early before the mad rush, put up and decorate their trees whilst sipping a mulled wine or baileys¬†(again the glass is full!) with christmas tunes on in the background. They will be excited and counting down the days and enjoying all that leads up to it. They treat Christmas as a whole period and not just a day. Then there are the people who moan and groan at the thought of the tree being erected and avoid all the Christmas cheer. They moan about the expense¬†and the fact that they haven’t done their shopping yet. They also, don’t count down to the day, but say things like, ‘oh, in 4 weeks time it will all be over!’ Whereas, the optimist won’t mind because they have enjoyed the whole process of the Christmas period and don’t pin all their hopes on that one day. The optimist will then look forward to New Year’s Eve and January sale shopping. But the pessimist? Well, they will grunt about presents to return and complain how much weight they have put on (yet they chose to eat that 4th mince pie) and that it is all over for another year…. but they didn’t even want it to start with! So which one are you this Christmas time?!

Some people say that is better to be a pessimist because if you set your sights low then you can never be disappointed. You won’t have your hopes dashed because they weren’t high enough anyway. I strongly disagree¬†with this¬†because if you always look on the bright side of life then even when things go wrong, you can look on the bright side of that too! You can put a positive¬†slant on anything if you want to and it makes life much happier. Yes, I am one of those ‘happy people’ but not naturally. I have taught myself to positive¬†think. I used to be a real worrier and feel negative about lots of little things when I was a teenager. Admittedly, that was probably mostly teenage angst and insecurities but now I know to think ‘oh it was meant to be’ or I’ll learn from it’ and I move on happily. Possibly part of growing up but some people grow up and become increasingly cynical and negative. The most negative thing I heard lately was a status on Facebook. I think it was meant to be a little sarcastic but I imagine some people would mean it seriously. This man said, ‘I hate Fridays. It means that we are nearly at Monday again.’ I commented and said it was the most depressing thing I had ever heard! I mean, we dread the good things because it means the horrible looming Monday is coming again. It’s like dreading a holiday because it will soon be over anyway or hating a child being born because they may grow up too soon to be a nightmare teenager or not wanting to buy a house because it may fall down! Surely, we have to make the most and appreciate the good things, even if they don’t last long?

So stay positive and you may find yourself enjoying the annoying things in life ūüėČ But don’t be too much of a ‘happy’ person and¬† to quote one of my favourite Friends lines you may be described as, ‘Santa Claus on prozac…. at Disney Land… getting laid!’¬† Haha.

Keep looking for those silver linings….

XSXS

Christmas Spirit

I do love an old spirit pun at this time of year. I am planning to put up decorations this week so I felt in the spirit to write this poem. It took me 5 mins so it’s a bit sketchy but sometimes I just like to write something straight out without editing.
Christmas Spirit
We only have four weeks to go,
until that special day,
presents to buy and food to get,
’til ‘Merry Christmas’ we say!
It can be a little stressful,
so you need to stay ‘with it’
so get out Baileys or vodka,
and get in the Christmas spirit!
Believe me, with a glass in hand, you feel much more like getting the decorations out or writing those christmas cards!
XSXS

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