Do They Know it's Christmas?

Around this time of year, I usually print a little Christmas message to everyone who may read or comment on this blog. It usually goes something like this: hasn't Christmas just become an exercise in wanton materialism? And, for many, especially those experiencing mental ill health, it can be one of the most isolating and lonely times of year.
As I have repeated this message now for going on four years, I thought I would change it slightly by printing a little picture of where I live, as we have just had our first Christmas snowfall. I do this in the hope that it will inspire all of us to feel a little yuletide cheer, and divert our minds from some of our current woes. So, here it is.

OK, so it's not all that impressive. But you can see just a little sprinkling of snow on the pavement and on the roof of my neighbour's house. Apart from that everything looks a little soggy and grey. My mission to inspire some heartfelt Christmas bonhomie may, then, have fallen flat on its face.
However, such is the weather in beautiful, old England, that we still seem to be getting a bit of sunshine, and for me, that sometimes means more brilliant sunsets. So, as we consider Christmas, our economic meltdown, higher bills and an increased cost of living, we can at least look forward to scenes such as the one below.

I think you'll agree that, even in Stoke-on-Trent, the unfettered beauty of nature abounds.
So, I'd just like to wish all of you, especially those who regularly comment on this blog (bazza, Dixie, Gary and the Manic Chef) a very merry Christmas. And, just so as not to disappoint, I hope we can all spare a thought for those who are unwell or in some other unfortunate situation at this most at once celebratory and alienating time of year. Indeed, you could well ask, in the words of the famous Christmas song, "do they know it's Christmas at all?"  


bazza said…
Hello David. What a nice idea!
Although I agree that Christmas is a very commercially exploited time, I feel that Christmas Day itself is a wonderful contrast to all of that being, usually, peaceful and quiet. I am not into the religious side of things myself (and I'm Jewish anyway!) I do enjoy the aura of peace, joy to the world etc.
I hope you and yours have a peaceful and joyful time and that it continues into the New Year.
Very best regards, Bazza.
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’
Lost in Space said…
I very much agree that this time of year is very isolating. The commercial side and the focus on 'happy families' only reinforces that to me. To be honest I feel that Christmas has lost its meaning, though I fully respect people's right not to believe in the religious stuff.

But the photos are beautiful.

I hope that you find peace, and happiness in 2012.
David said…
Dear bazza,
I have to say that I too enjoy the more peaceful side of Christmas. My day is usually spent visiting family, and eating and drinking lots, of course.
So, I hope you have a good one, too, bazza!
With Very Best Christmas Wishes,
David said…
Dear Lost in Space,
It's good to hear from you again, and can only reciprocate your hopes for 2012. I'm glad you like the photos, too.
Hoping you have a good Christmas and a very happy 2012,
dcrelief said…
Dear David,
A very interesting post that speaks to my heart. More each year I see progress on the part of the commercial industry in tearing down a moment of joy. From the days, of the First Holy Roman Emperor and Pope, Constantine, there have been additional tasks woven into the fabric we call Christmas. I call them tasks because none are required to celebrate, yet I find it funny how people compete to be the fastest or slowest to get it all done before the great day! Saturnalia brought the 'greening' of the home and community. The Festival of lights brought a glow from the great battlefield victory. Then the birth of a king which alarmed those in power. If that wasn't enough... "The Christmas Story" brought Santa into the whole tapestry of factless fun. However I think this 'snowball' is beginning to melt.
I'm thankful you and The Pathways Group work to correct choices in thinking. Our perception is often wrong about those we meet as strangers. It must be tough to help some work through the pain and misconception of this 'overblown' season. To you and them, I hope for better things.
Merry Christmas,
PS, I love the photos!
klahanie said…
Greetings David,
Oh a Christmas message in the tradition of the Queen, perhaps?
Actually, my dear friend, I'd much rather take note of your message than hers.
Of course, I've had the great pleasure of being to your wonderful abode in the enchanting city of Stoke on Trent. Indeed, that sprinkling of snow, which turned into a wild and wondrous winter storm, enhanced the enchanting city where you live and turned the little town of Leek into a winter wonderland.
Indeed, we must spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves and demonstrate random acts of kindness.
And thus, with no air of cynicism, I wish you and all that have the good sense to grace your site, a 'Happy Boxing Day Eve'...I mean, a 'Merry Christmas'!
With kind and snowy magical wishes, your way, Gary
David said…
Dear Dixie,
Thank you for your thoughts and the little history lesson.
Sincerely hoping you have a wonderful Christmas and 2012.
With Very Best Wishes,
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thanks, my hairy friend. Which kind of leads me to the question, when Santa comes down your chimney (ho, ho ,ho!) do you compare hairiness?
And similarly, with no air of cynicism at all, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and hopes for a better 2012.
From your pal,

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