I do know - of course I do - that Christmas is well and truly over and everybody is turning their thoughts to spring, to summer holidays, to the days getting longer minute by minute. However, if you will excuse me, before
we completely move on, I do have to inform you that I am getting seriously worried about Father Christmas….
Three days ago I took down all the Christmas
cards which have been festooning our walls for ever so many weeks. I completely understand why many people these days have decided to stop sending such festive greetings but I stalwartly refuse to join them - the giving and the receiving of Christmas cards
(complete with short but sweet messages from the senders) are one of my greatest pleasures at this time of the year. Every card received reminds me of, not just a person or family, but a time shared, memories of years gone by, of holidays where we met over
a hotel restaurant table or a swimming pool, of places we have lived over the course of our marriage. My heartfelt thanks to everybody who took the trouble to send us greetings this year.
I was faced with a bit of a problem on account of having had the hall, stairs and landing redecorated following our unfortunate Watery Emergency. Usually I can pin up lines of Christmas cards around the walls of the hall - but this
year I really couldn’t bring myself to stick drawing pins into the pristine, newly papered and painted walls. I had to resort to putting up a couple of lines over the kitchen window; viewed from outside it looked a bit like lines of washing hanging up
But I digress. Let’s get back to Father Christmas. Every year when I gather up all our Christmas cards I can’t help myself carrying out a little
bit of customer research by arranging small piles of cards based on subject matter. There’s a pile for ones depicting Christmas trees, one for religious themes of the nativity, the Wise Men or wintry scenes of churches lit by candles, one for robins.
Then there are what might be called “general cards”, others with snowmen as their subject. I even have a small pile of cards with penguins decorating them. I have seven very beautiful hand-made cards which are especially appreciated, knowing, as
I do, the time and effort expended on them. One of my friends, who makes all her cards, has just embarked on the task of making her 2022 Christmas cards. I applaud her most sincerely.
Now here’s the thing. Of all our cards, only five depicted Father Christmas! Five! What is happening to the Big Man in the Red Coat that he is so far behind the snowmen, the robins, and Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Wee Donkey?
I turned to Faris the Rascal’s school production, via a YouTube link sent me by the Middle of the Darling Daughters, for reassurance, only to discover
the play was entitled “Santa’s on Strike.” Oh, my goodness, what is the world coming to, I despaired. Actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought - Santa was, indeed, considering industrial action but trusty Rudolph (he of the red nose and
excellently portrayed by my Rascal) had other ideas. Rudolph and Santa’s helpful elves (clearly having forsaken all those shelves they have been sitting on throughout December) persuaded the Reluctant Red-Coated One, to visit a number of families who
demonstrated that the True Spirit of Christmas was alive and well, resulting in a belated change of heart. Rudolph, bless him, went through the entire pilot’s lift-off procedure, ensuring that the world’s children were not, after all, disappointed.
Which makes me think that perhaps Father Christmas isn’t in trouble. Maybe it’s on account of my Great Age that folk have stopped sending me cards with Santa
on the front and have chosen robins, snowmen, fir trees and snowy scenes instead?
One very special Christmas scene doesn’t appear on any of my greetings
cards but was sent to us by Tala (elder of the Twins by one important minute.) It is entitled “Nanni and Grandad at Christmas” (see pic above) and I have chosen it to illustrate all the letters I have sent, thanking people for their Christmas gifts.
It shows a Christmas tree with Mr B, sitting in his favourite armchair, waving his heart in the air enthusiastically. I am by his side, my own heart exposed for all to see. I love the fact that we are displaying our hearts so prominently.
Love is all around - and not only at Christmas…