Saturday 24 December 2016

Thoughts On Saturday - Christmas

When I started Thoughts on Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I wanted somewhere to reflect and express myself on things that have happened, or that I've read, that make me think. This week though it's Christmas Eve and I wanted something a little lighter.

I haven't forgotten the awful events that have happened in the world this week, in Berlin and elsewhere. My sympathies and thoughts are with all those who have been affected by these tragic events and with those who have lost someone they love.

As it is Christmas Eve, Thoughts on Saturday is all about Christmas.

thoughts-on-saturday-christmas-and-quote-over-picture-of-tree- “I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.” – Fred Rogers

So lets start with a few Christmas traditions;

1. The Christmas Tree

This was a pagan tradition of bringing greenery into the home during winter. Prince Albert is often quoted as bringing the first Christmas tree into Britain in 1840 but Queen Charlotte (the wife of George III) had one at Windsor in 1800.

2. Turkey

Turkeys are not from Turkey, they were brought to the UK from America by Turkish merchants and were called "turkey fowl".  Henry VIII is credited with being the first to have turkey on Christmas Day. Other meat would be goose, boar or even peacock! Chickens were valued for their eggs and cows were needed for their milk. The popularity of turkey seems to be down to their size as one can feed a whole family.

3. Brussel Sprouts

I love Brussel sprouts and can now eat them all year around but the reason they are eaten at Christmas is that they are available and in season, as simple as that.

4. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries are native to USA along with turkeys. They are both traditionally eaten together at Thanksgiving so it appears we have just borrowed their tradition.

5. Wrapping gifts

Surprisingly because we can. Sticky tape was invented in 1930 so before that it was trickier to wrap presents. Then paper became more colourful and less expensive. Wrapped presents are so much more exciting.

thoughts-on-saturday-text-over-image-of-tree-“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.” – Donald E. Westlake

I don't know who Donald E Westlake is/was but he got it right. Christmas is hard work, it's very stressful for many and lonely and sad for others but it is also amazing and magical. We get to have fun, to drink and eat too much. To be silly and wear stupid hats and jumpers. Old friends are remembered, even if it's just with a card, and older traditions carry on. It's a time we think of family, of those we love who are not with us. Those that are far away and those that we are lucky enough to share this time with. 

And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a few cheesy jokes to make you groan;

What’s a dog’s favourite carol? 
Bark, the herald angels sing.

Tim Vine

What’s a mathematician’s favourite Christmas snack? 
A mince pi.

Birthday Girls

Why are horse-drawn carriages so unpopular? 
Because horses are rubbish at drawing.

Alex Horne

How will Christmas dinner be different after Brexit?
No Brussels

Philip looks out of the window on Christmas Eve: ‘That’s some reindeer’ he says.
The Queen replies: "63 years. Yes, that is a lot."

Whats a boomerang called that doesn't come back?
A stick

What's Good King Wenceslas's favourite pizza?
One thats deep, and crisp and even.

What do you call a blind reindeer?
No idea

What do you call a blind reindeer that doesn't move?
Still no idea.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Love Bear and Cardigan.


The jokes were stolen from the internet here, here and here oh and some are just as old as the hills. For those that have to know these things Donald E Westlake was an American author.



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