The above are a few of the glasses mentioned in previous posts. I saw them yesterday in a shaft of winter sunlight and thought they would make a good image for a season's greetings message. I go along with all that Cro has said about the de-paganisation of Christmas in his blog, so I won't rabbit on about that.
Christmas for me - when I was a kid - was a sharply contrasting mixture of magic and hell - a bit like Harry Potter's. I was brought up in a huge house with extensive grounds in the stock-broker belt of Surrey (I bet they don't call it that now!). Being the youngest of 4 children (by 10 years) I could never afford to reciprocate with presents, and I felt tormented about that. It put me right off the present thing altogether, in fact. Also, there was always the screaming rows between my two sisters, and the combination of these two elements is where the hell came in.
I do remember though, standing outside in the dark on the snowy lawn, with starlight reflecting up from the ground in no particular direction, and thinking that no harm could possibly come to me on this holy night. That was where the magic came in. Maybe it was true, but I now know that most domestic murders take place around Christmas time. Careful observation of my sisters' behaviour toward each other would have taught me that sooner, but I just didn't want to know.
I still don't want to know, to tell the truth, so I will only murder someone at Christmas time if I absolutely have to these days. The rest of the time I am happy to settle down and watch 'It's A Wonderful Life' with the rest of them.
I'm a bit worried this year, though. The 'collapsing Building Society caused by a wicked developer, and it being saved at the last minute by the selfless investors' scenario depicted in 'It's A Wonderful Life', with James Stewart being saved from suicide by an apprentice angel, does not - this year of all years - ring entirely true. I should never have watched the extra documentary on the making of the film either, as I learnt last year that the Christmas snow street scenes were shot beneath a huge tarpaulin, in 120 degree Californian heat. The whole set stank of rotten cheese, because the snow was made from about 200 tons of waste dairy products. Maybe I can suspend disbelief again, like all the other years, but The Holy Ghost has his work cut out in 2009/2010 I think.
Christmas - they say - is for the children. Quite right. We've had to suffer, now it's their turn.
Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!