Well, here’s wishing everyone a happy Christmas – or as happy a Christmas as is possible, considering all the disruptions and worries surrounding the spreading virus as we wonder where the bloody thing is lurking.
I will not go near a shop, even though I have no fake holly for the top of the pudding. That’s no longer important.
Our (smaller) family gathering was quite settled and organised – we thought – until number two grandson received a message to say that he had been in a Covid (close contact) space.
Well, when you’re 23 and have a pile of friends wanting to let their hair down at the end of the year, what else would you do, but go clubbing? Urrgghh!
They think they are indestructible! And they’re not.
Now he’s unwell and isolating…poor thing.
His mother is upset and so are we all.
As no family members have been in close contact with this young man for three weeks we feel we are safe….But…?
I am now eligible for a ‘booster’ shot, but much online searching and GP phoning has revealed not a single chance appointment for over a month.
So, another meaningless Gov announcement, eh?
¯ “We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you…..etc…
And a Happy New Year.” ¯
I’m sure we all hope it will be a HAPPY NEW YEAR….eventually.
am trying to work out how many years have gone by since my grandmother gave me this little Christmas ornament. It’s more than 50 years ago – possibly 55 years. At the time, she said, ‘Here’s something for you to put out at Christmas time and think of me after I’m gone.’
The candle that burned brightly for a few Christmases has long ago melted into a shapeless blob; fake holly leaves have fractured, parts fallen away.
The ribbons have lost their sheen and the baubles are looking tired. One has broken.
Three miniature pine-cones remain anchored by wire. Their original host tree probably logged long ago.
This ‘hardly an ornament’ is a sad-looking thing and yet I still bring it out of its box every year and place it under the Christmas tree.
"Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago." So said English actor, Tom Baker.
My little ornament has lost any “glitter and glow” it ever had, but here it is, once again.
And I am remembering Grandma with love.
"No one ever fully recovers from their past,” so writes Alan Cumming, Scottish actor, singer and activist.
It’s a dramatic statement, but I would change the words ‘their past’ to ‘their childhood.’
I didn’t have to ‘recover’ from my early life, even though my childhood had – and has had – a substantial influence on my life.
That must be true of most people.
I was one of the lucky ones. Although there were ups and downs of various kinds during my childhood, it was generally a happy one, where I was constantly well cared-for and loved.
Sadly, that is not an experience shared by everyone.
Recently I’ve been watching some ‘True Crime’ programs on Netflix. (Yes, I have succumbed!)
As these televised investigations reveal details about murders and other shocking offences, it soon becomes apparent that almost all perpetrators of serious crime have experienced appalling childhoods.
Some have been forced out of home as mere children - homeless at an unconscionable early age. Some have been mistreated, physically, psychologically, sexually and/or mentally throughout most of their early lives. Some have been the recipients of drug-fuelled neglect.
Many never knew a father. Many never knew a mother’s love.
“No one ever fully recovers from their past”
And: “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” (Attributed to Aristotle).
Those statements are telling.
The solution seems simple: ensure that every single person experiences a happy, loved, and well-nourished childhood and the crime rate and accompanying misery will all but vanish.
If only it were that simple.
It is, instead, an impossible and insurmountable problem that, however hard good people and good organisations may try to alleviate the problem of childhood neglect, nothing touches the sides.
And so, as children suffer, so too, will society suffer in the end.
Must add that there are a few decidedly plain nasty (evil?) criminals who may have had a privileged childhood.
As, also, there are well adjusted and upstanding members of the community whose early unhappy childhood experiences have not stopped them from having a successful adulthood.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.