Major holidays have passed. The best bit for me will be to see a lot less advertising of the virtues of gluttony. I always feel uncomfortable with the putsch to eat, eat, eat and drink by way of celebrating the advertisers’ idea of what our tradition and enjoyment ought to be. These holidays mean different things to different people. I like the thought of togetherness with whosoever you choose to be and where you choose to be. I can’t be doing with the pressure to spend your way into emptying your purse and filling up the cupboards to overflowing with rich foodstuffs and excessive amounts of booze you would never usually upset your digestive system with the rest of the year….all because we are told it is expected, it is what to do.

I have warm memories of holidays past where, in one case it was insisted I stay and join in with a family in their togetherness. They wouldn’t hear of me returning home. Never mind that my oven was on gas mark number one ever so slowly cooking my meal. (Fortuitously as it turned out).  

Another memory, I was in a hostel in isolated splendour, not a soul in sight.  Over the road was the police station. The boys in blue, mostly single men, were working, but their canteen was closed for two days. The civilian staff were on holiday.  I offered to cook Christmas Day and Boxing Day meals for them.  A kitty soon built up, enough to buy a chicken or three and sufficient veggies. I am not sure they really believed I could give them a hot meal. But, a hot meal is what they got,  at whatever time they arrived to eat.  It was all very friendly with everyone helping out with the washing up and drying dishes in shifts, then leaving the kitchen as it should be at the end of each day.

8 thoughts on “TOGETHERNESS

  1. What great memories! I totally agree – I hate the pressure to spend, spend, spend and to stuff ourselves silly etc. The Christmas after my mother in law died, many years ago, we begged a relative of hers and of Hub’s to come and spend Christmas with us in lieu of Mum. This lady, a single lady of very clear views, normally opted to have Christmas alone. She would then send us all a newsletter in the new year, rather than sink under the pile of Christmas letters. To our joy she agreed to come, citing as her reason ‘I knew it would be a simple Christmas’. She’s died now, but I keep the Christmas tree baubles she made when with us (she was an art and design teacher) and put them on the tree each year in her memory.

    • Gilly, I do like the crafted decorations memories you have. They are so nice. It is good to feel comfortable while socialising and it is a treat that someone else felt the same way. It all adds to the special memory.

    • Hi Mr F,

      Thank you. I gained a lot of pleasure from an opportunity to simply share chat and see the enjoyment with which the meals were eaten. I wasn’t alone or lonely either. All-in-all I felt contented.

      The food advertising and the ‘perfect family’ arrangements we are bombarded with by media are far, far from reality. The emotional pressure is appalling.


  2. Hi Anne-Marie
    Nice thought 😀. These days, (decades later) I spend the minimum of time in the kitchen. My maxim is, life is too short to stuff a mushroom, I’d make an exception for you though.

  3. I totally agree with you. I despise how Christmas is portrayed, and the endless commercialism is hard to take, especially when you know how many people in this world have nothing. Love your ethos and memories. Good for you! I salute you!xxx

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