As the heading would suggest it’t that time of the year when I can talk about Christmas and not get the eye rolls or the bah humbug scenario (well in most cases).
Christmas is that time of year when we get nostalgic and really feel the need to share time with family and friends and remember with affection the bygone Christmases that meant so much to us. Some people sadly don’t have that luxury for reasons known only unto themselves.
At this time of year I feel sad for those who are left alone or homeless. Two years ago we approached various authorities in September to offer to have one or two people who would be alone on the day to join us for Christmas breakfast, dinner and tea and be treated as part of the family. All was well until our small gesture was greeted with that would be great but you will need to pay for CRB checks for each member of the household who will be present on the day. This was a step we could not afford at the time as we would have needed 3 checks which would have been too costly. Instead we now try to donate to charities that provide assistance for those alone such as the Salvation Army and Age Concern. Of course its not just the elderly that can feel alone at this time of year. So let’s all remember them and hope and pray that they find some comfort somewhere.
This leads me to thinking about how Christmas must have been for some of our ancestors who would have found it difficult to put food on the table let alone provide presents for each other. Some of the research I have done into my own family would suggest they may not have had a lot but they had each other and with a little clever housekeeping had what must have been quite a treat to them on Christmas Day. Many of them had to work before heading to church being agricultural labourers and farm hands, the animals still needed to be milked and cared for. Some were domestic servants who before their merriment could begin would have to carry out their duties in the big houses – nothing like the way the servants are treated in Downton Abbey for example.
Lets just thank our ancestors for coping with their lives and providing us with an ancestry we can look back on and think how lucky we are to live in such an advanced world.
Let us also take some time to think about the men and women of the armed forces who will be away from family and friends over the festive period, defending us in foreign lands and on duty at bases around the country protecting us as we celebrate.
Now back to a bit of self indulgence for those of you who have not read it – this my letter to santa. A Genealogists Letter to Santa
Will leave you all in peace now until next week when I hope to have some festive delights for you all