the Christmas list

Because I can’t send cards to everybody,

I wanted to list all the people who have been in touch with annalog – just to acknowledge them and let them know what their contact meant to me.  Then I thought, it was a bit of a cheat and not really writing.  I thought about the Christmas list, who I give what, and what I’d like – all much abbreviated this year.   Wal makes Christmas for his long term partner who loves everything about it – tree, decorations, rich food – while Wal, born a Jew and really not interested, can’t wait to get through it.  And I must say this year, I could very easily write a negative Christmas list of things I never wish to hear about again, before going on to wishing for  world peace in your Christmas stocking

– just people and events and behaviours that bore me to screaming pitch.   It’s much harder to pin down what really matters about Christmas in a secular state.

There’s time off.  But what we have learned with force this year is that what is one person’s time off is another person’s work.  If I don’t list all the strikes, it is not out of disrespect but because I would like to hear more about what is being done to resolve them.  I opted long ago for reading a daily paper but the assistants at the convenience store make its purchase possible.  Of course I could go elsewhere  – but it would be less convenient.

There’s warmth and comfort.  Not everybody has them,  or access to them.   The podiatrist, the nicest lay preacher,  said her husband had said to her “Let’s be warm this winter – hang a few days in the sun next year.  If we can’t do it, we can’t do it.  Let’s not come home from work to a cold house.”  It’s called “paying for your pleasures”

by Anthony Peter

– they were affordable if not free for so long.

There’s special food  – but food becomes very special if you’re short of it.  And we had so much so available for so long.

There are favourite television programmes, streamed or otherwise.  Good luck with that.   One person’s pleasure is another’s anathema and  there is endless repetition.  I usually find something but the pickings are slim.

There’s company –  but they’ve got to get to you and it’s harder this year than it has been for some time.  And they have to get back.  People will make the effort and it will be lovely and good luck to them – but I am used to plans being changed,

other demands having to be met.  As long as you’re well, you don’t have to be with me. 

If Christmas is to survive as more than just a public holiday, we shall have to look at it anew.  None of us can escape from memory, good or bad, but the maniacal focus on the bigger, the richer, the noisier, the more resplendent can’t go on growing and as the couturiere Chanel famously remarked “less is always more.”  

So the Christmas list is  – half a dozen presents for half a dozen people:  a meal with Pam the Painter – she chose a chicken dish I have already tried on her, which she absolutely loves.  Wal makes a meal for me and Howard.   My son (cross fingers) comes to bring me a book and a card – the card is much more important.  And I give him a gift and card.  And I get to feed him. 

There were candles in my house most evenings long before energy became the Chanel Five of the twenty first century.   And I will be warm and pay for it.  There will be candles in every room, one of my favourite symbols

and like many of us, I need all the help I can get.  

There will be flowers or plants, yet to be chosen  and in the quiet  I will remember my family, my dogs, people I have loved, still love, the good times ringed with light like candles in the mind – to get us through the darkest days, to the light that follows.

5 responses to “the Christmas list

  1. Lovely sentiments!

  2. Judy Heard-White

    Anna, you have summed Christmas up perfectly. It is the simplest of things that really matter. I love reading your weekly posts….keep them coming!
    I wish you a peaceful Christmas and Healthy New Year.

  3. Stuart Marshall-Banks

    Again, so beautifully written and paints a picture like none other.

  4. I hope you have a peaceful Christmas and all the best for 2023 Anna. It has been a joy to interact and read Annalog this year. Thank you X

  5. I absolutely loved this piece. I wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy next year. Peace.

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