|The last of the Waratahs|
The tinsel is sagging. Real Christmas trees are wilting in the heat. You’ve spent too much. You’ve eaten too much and you’ve had too much to drink. The stuff you bought before Christmas is now on sale at half the price and despite great restraint, you have put on at least a Kilo in weight. One should be thankful for small mercies. At least I don’t have a hangover.
It is however the season of drunk drivers, car accidents, drownings and suicides and there is very little sign of the Peace and Joy we sang about. Wars and catastrophes continue across the globe – tsunamis always seem to come at Christmas, and usually an earthquake or two as well, not to mention bushfires and floods. The homeless are still homeless, irrespective of the bountiful Christmas Dinner put on by local charities, businesses and volunteers and Africa’s children are still starving, despite all the chicken and goat cards we bought last year. The fighting never stops, whether in some far flung country or right here in the house. Family togetherness is not what it used be.
But Christmas is a bit like childbirth. Sometime between Christmas and New Year after you have returned the sweater that didn’t fit or exchanged the toy that didn’t work, you start forgetting the bad bits -the relentless cleaning, the planning, the deliberating over presents and what to wear; the frantic shopping trips lest the hams and raspberries run out; the slaving over hot stoves in hot kitchens; the underdone turkey and lumpy sauce and by the time you have started passive -aggressively doing the dinner dishes, you are already thinking about next year and how nice it was to have the whole family together for once. We did have some lovely times and the food was great. How sweet was the new baby! The bigger girls looked so grown up this year and really helped. The adults on the other hand, all looked a bit more stressed and careworn – work, bills, parenting, traffic - and they have less and less time to play.
It made me appreciate this little gem from word porn. I could make it my one and only New Year Resolution, though one of the comments rather tickled my fancy too.
Hope by New Year’s Eve we will all be holding hands (in spirit if not in fact), singing Auld Lang Syne (never did know the second verse –see it and the translation below) and drinking that cup of kindness yet, though there are definitely some things that should be forgot.