25 December 2020
A warm welcome to all of you reading this. No matter what culture, creed, colour or belief, we are all human. We may not all celebrate this time of year in the same way, however the world still revolves, I hope for a very long time. As we know, things change and I have no doubt they will continue to do so.
Right now, much is being talked about over all that is going on in the world but no matter if they be local, regional or global, some traditions do remain. It is my view that they should and I sincerely hope that they will. I have read some headlines saying that Christmas is now cancelled, others which say that we are being taken over and being controlled. Over in the United States, some stories are being told about how the election of the new President has been in some way fixed, despite there being no proof to any of it. But our calendars still stay the same and it is still December 25th for Christmas Day! No matter where we are, who we are with, it is surely the fact that we are here and remembering. We may not always have had the happiest of times, we will all have had difficulties to cope with, not least as we are doing right now. But I firmly believe that we should remain positive, stay calm, make the best of things, look after ourselves and not give in to negativity. There are countless conspiracy theories all being bandied about, some will believe them but in time the truth will out.
For now, no matter what state we find ourselves in, I hope we can all enjoy this festive season, perhaps not as we might like, but with modern technology it is possible for us to have at least some contact with our relatives and friends, in very many cases now seeing them via our computers or mobile phones. What I do hope and pray is that no matter what happens, Christmas will still be celebrated and remembered. Not just as a break from work, or an excuse to sell goods, but to remember times past. I realise that not everyone may always have had good or maybe the happiest of memories, but I feel that we should not dwell on those. They are part of our past and not our present. In fact the only present I am interested in are the ones I shall be opening, one by one, shortly!
I have mentioned in a previous post on here that we as a family moved from London to Whittlesey, then a few years later my grandparents did the same. For a while, Nan and Pop were the live-in housekeepers for a local vicar and remembering that takes me back – I remember the big fireplace at the old vicarage in Whittlesey, where there seemed to always be a huge pot of boiling water on the stove! There were no electric kettles there in those days! The rooms had high ceilings and the washing was hung up on rails above the kitchen table. Washing dried quickly too, as heat rises. Just off the kitchen was a pantry with cobbled stone floors, there wasn’t a refrigerator, food lasted for ages (apart from mince pies!) and it was mostly home grown and home-cooked food.
A school-friend of mine had a fun, family tradition. On Christmas Eve the family would go to a ‘midnight’ church service and as soon as they were back home, as it was now Christmas Day just one present could be opened by each person. Just the one. They had to be patient. Then after they had slept, were up and had their breakfast, all their other presents could be opened! But then times change, children grow up and often move away, have families of their own and the cycle then continues. When dear Nan passed away, Pop would come to our house for Sunday lunch and I remember one year when he was invited to have lunch on Christmas Day with us. He accepted, but asked to be picked up from his local pub as he would be having a few drinks with them first. This was done, Pop had his dinner and promptly fell fast asleep. Later he woke up, asking for his Christmas dinner – sadly he had no memory of eating it. My dear mother was not at all impressed! Over the years our family gatherings became smaller and smaller as aunts and uncles passed away, as sons moved away, including me. Nowadays they do not seem to occur at all, which is a bit of a shame.
For a few years I was regularly visiting my eldest brother and his wife, but they then divorced and what with work and travelling, I was spending more and more time on my own. I remember one Christmas Day when I didn’t want to be on my own, so I drove to the Leicester Forest East motorway services by the M1 and had a delightful Christmas meal there. It meant I was not alone. I sat just where I could overlook the motorway, I enjoyed the time there. I am not likely to ever do that again!
I have no idea what next year will be like, it will not be the same as this year has been. As I have said before, the one constant in this universe is that things change. They will continue to do so. As I have a little more time on my hands it may be that I start looking again at my family history, as it has already turned out to be fascinating! As of course the whole subject of ancestry is. On a small scale, over time many plants & animals have not survived, but their ‘ancestry’ may still be found and traced back. On a slightly larger scale, it is the same with some family names. It would seem that this branch of the Williams name may end at some point, as only girls have been born in recent times! But still the family line continues. It can, is and will be traceable. I have a bit more research to do yet on other sides of the family!
On a bigger scale? That is beyond me. I do know the average human lifespan is currently around seventy-nine years, so it does seem to me how fascinating it might be to return to this Earth in say, a hundred years from now and see how much has changed! I have been taught and firmly believe that we should continue to learn from the past, live in the present and look to the future with a smile. So that is what I plan to do. On that note, may I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Christmas and a good New Year. I will also add: ¡Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo!
Finally for this festive day…
Santa told me I’d not been bad this year. I told him it was simply a lack of opportunity… 😉