The Present-Day Christmas Story
(with a bit of help from the Queen, the Grinch and Joan Rivers…)
“At this time of the year, our thoughts turn towards…”
…well our dear old Queen, in her yearly Christmas Day speech, would have us thinking it’s the Commonwealth. However (correct me if I’m wrong) I’m not sure that that’s the first thing on all our minds ‘at this time of the year.’
No, our Christmas Story is much more likely to start something like this…
“Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.”
– Dave Barry
Yes, sometime around September, the retail industry decides that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though we’re still getting the odd heatwave and it’s light until 8pm. But gradually we all get sucked in and by mid-November there’s no going back.
Then it’s cries of “where has the year gone, it was only Easter 5 minutes ago!” and “what are your plans?” and ‘“I’m REALLY NOT going to over-indulge this Christmas” (a week before you notice the Marks & Spencer Chocolate Biscuit Selection Box is on offer and oh, it’s only once a year…)
But at least things at this point are pretty predictable:-
“Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music.”
– Tom Sims
And before you know it you’re starting to wish it could be Christmas EVERYDAY and singing about Shepherd’s Washing Their Socks By Night, whilst buying the 2ND Selection Box of Marks & Spencer Chocolate Biscuits (because you got through the first one by the end of November).
“A lovely thing about Christmas is…
…that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
– Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home
Yes we’re all in it together and by December, the Christmas Story is well under way and there’s no escaping it. Which is a good thing. December and winter would be terribly bleak without Christmas. The sparkly, colourful lights cheering the long nights at this darkest time of the year, are very much appreciated.
You can’t help but get caught up in the general sense of a special time approaching – a time to connect with our family and be thankful for all we have, whilst having some fun along the way.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
– Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
And of course, it means more than the latest iPhone, the Santa socks or the Pigs in Blankets. There is a deeper, truer purpose to it all…
“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?…
…You know, the birth of Santa”
– Bart Simpson
That wasn’t quite what I meant…
Whether you’re religious or not, there is a certain sense of the Christmas Story being a time to stop, think and celebrate life.
“Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.”
– Author Unknown
Hmm. Consumerism aside, whether you believe in a baby born in a stable, or a man with a beard, dressed in red and white, doesn’t it make you step out of the everyday for a moment and embrace the magical?
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
– Norman Vincent Peale
Indeed it is.
Maybe we should wish it could be Christmas everyday?
“There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them.”
– P.J. O’Rourke
Yes we could get a bit carried away with the whole over-indulgent, cracker joke bits of it. And yes that would be impossible to sustain. But ultimately:-
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!”
– Hamilton Wright Mabie
Our Christmas Story should surely be the time for us to unwrap and celebrate the love at the very heart of us all.
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
– Charles Dickens
Here here Mr Dickens! And so say all of us. Christmas should be for Life, not just for Christmas!
So maybe our present-day Christmas Story should be about finding a quiet moment amongst the hustle and bustle, to celebrate all the love within you and in your world.
And whether it’s white or sunny, filled with children or quiet, I hope your Christmas is everything you want it to be. (Rather than…)
“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.”
– Joan Rivers
Have a very merry Christmas!!
If you’re looking for a very different Christmas story, check out our personalised children’s book “The Christmas Wrapper”!
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