I’m not a great fan of Christmas. I don’t believe in the “event” it’s supposed to celebrate, and I heartily dislike the way in which many people do celebrate it – the greedy over-eating and excessive drinking [all those alcohol-sodden stinking bodies on public transport] and the false-jovial bonhomie of neighbours, colleagues, and total strangers who are either indifferent to one’s existence, or positively surly, during the rest of the year. And the chore of writing and receiving all those cards and usually unwanted gifts.
When I was little I enjoyed some wonderful, even magical, Christmases. Being the only child in a family of grown-ups I suppose I was rather spoiled. My parents usually used to take me to my grandmother’s, and I still remember the thrill of pleasure on getting out of the train at Harrogate, where she lived, and seeing the beautifully decorated large Christmas tree in the forecourt of the station. For much of my adult life Christmas was a difficult time of “forced cheerfulness”, because my father had died ten days before Christmas and we had to spend the next twenty years or so of my mother’s widowhood jollying her through the anniversary season.
Now we let Christmas go by in as low-key way as we can, both being in poor health with not a great deal to celebrate. But there is one aspect of Christmas that I do welcome – the opportunity to top up on charitable donations. So I’d like to suggest to my site visitors a more worthwhile quiz than ‘Ten Things I Would Never Do’: namely, ‘which charities am I giving to this Christmas?’
My own list for donations this year is: The Royal Brompton and the Royal Marsden Hospitals, for the superb medical treatment they have given me for the past two years during my ongoing illness; Marie Curie Cancer Care, for the friendship, encouragement and support I get from my weekly visits to their local hospice; the Tom ap Rhys Price Memorial Trust [see my previous blog]; The Royal National Lifeboat Institution; and the Blue Cross [for animal welfare].
So now it’s your turn!