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Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat

Please put a penny in the old man's hat

If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do

If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you!

I don't know if you agree with me but the commercial side of Xmas makes me feel quite uncomfortable - charity seems more important than spending loads of money on things you don't really need. I do enjoy giving presents and even recieving small ones in return - but I hate excess and waste. I sometimes wish we could turn the clocks back to simpler times...

When I was 10 years old, for a school project, I interviewed a 95 year old woman about her Christmas when she was 10 years old. She had come from quite a comfortable family in West Cornwall, her father being the local vet, and yet the lives of she and her siblings were so differnent from what we're used to now.

First of all, she and her sisters would think nothing of walking 10 miles to go to a fair, or a market, or some celebration or other... then 10 miles back home again afterwards. If they were lucky, their father would give them a coin to buy something - and they would have to spend the day choosing very carefully, and perhaps even sharing, because the coin would only pay for one thing.

Anyway, when I asked her about Xmas presents in 1893, she cackled with delight remembering what her father had given them on Christmas Day: each member of the family came into the dining room to find an ORANGE by their plate. They had never, ever seen anything like it, and were so happy and grateful they never, ever forgot that day!


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