Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to 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!
I don’t think any other rhyme conveys the spirit of Christmas quite as well as this. The spirit of giving over receiving. Good will to all men.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that just because we are kind one week of the year that we can be miserly the other fifty-one, but that is a different story entirely.
I remember hearing this rhyme, and ‘singing’ it throughout the Christmas period when I was a child, and even now, come December 1st, it is the first rhyme that I speak or even think of.
That being said, since my trans-continental move 5 years ago, Christmas has taken on a new meaning. Given that the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas and not the jolly red-suited traveller I grew up with, December 25th and 26th are celebrated in somewhat different fashions. There is no roast turkey, no crackers or bad jokes – at least not ones pulled from the innards the exploding tableware – or even hats. There are no gifts, for these are exchanged on the 5th. Instead, Christmas is a time for family.
I know what you are thinking. Christmas is about family, about being together and sharing the holidays. That is true, but even I, a fellow who loves everything Christmas, will freely admit that the commercialization of the season has taken over.
This Christmas Day, my family will get together at my wife’s uncle’s house and have a large Gourmet – think a sort indoor barbecue with cooking plates on the table and everyone cooking their own small pieces of meat and vegetables etc. There will be in the region of fifteen people and we will sit, we will talk and we will laugh.
Boxing Day will see us make the 200 meter trek to my in-law’s house for a chinese with pretty much the same people, less one branch of the family as they have their own traditions too.
The two days over Christmas are nothing but relaxing and filled with good cheer. Precisely the way it is supposed to be.
So tell me, what are your plans for the coming days?
Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you for your visits this past year, it has been my pleasure getting to know you all.