Christmas 2021

Yithian

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It looks as if the world (the corporate world at least) has begun its annual effort to convince the populace that Christmas is better served prematurely.

I may be pretty far off the beaten track in terms of the festive celebrations, but I did not expect to see a giant tree being decorated outside a city department store in the week before Hallowe'en.

That recurring gripe is not, however, the stimulus that spurred me to start the thread.

I got an email in my break at work today: my daughter's new (still newish) school runs a programme to fulfill requests for Christmas presents from children in local care homes: you are presented with a list of names / sexes / ages and a link to one of a dozen online stores that sell what they'd like—the scheme is voluntary, the most costly gifts are only £25 and the school is a wealthy one.

Anyway, my point: it almost had me blubbing.

First, the list is very long; if they are (and this was not made explicit) local children, they total a figure that although rational now I think about it, I wouldn't have instinctively put so high. Second, their ages—some are listed as '0', newborns that I assume are orphans (staff have obviously chosen gifts they need). Then, indeed, there are the gifts themselves: I don't know quite why, but it got my mind fleshing out the bare bones I have. Boys the same age with adjacent reference codes all requesting the same handheld game or toy swords: likely friends; girls choosing comfort toys like plush bunnies or cute character-themed stationery—it set me reminiscing about my brother and I composing our own Christmas lists, and reflecting how very different their circumstances probably are.

Anyway, I viewed dozens of them and got a lump in my throat. In the end, I found a girl the same age as my daughter with the same Korean family name and ordered her gift for her. I suppose it's a kind gesture, but after all the over-analysis, it feels more like a drop in the ocean.

I'm sure someone can salvage the thread from its slightly maudlin begining. After all, this year's Christmas must surely be better that last year's.
 

charliebrown

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I do not know if the Salvation Army is in other countries but they collect a lot of donations for people struggling with Christmas.

Our local fire and police departments collect toys for the poor children.

And local motorcycle clubs even collect toys for the underprivileged.
 

Frideswide

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I'm sure someone can salvage the thread from its slightly maudlin begining. After all, this year's Christmas must surely be better that last year's.

At church we do shoeboxes of gifts, one for each child as notified to us by social services. We get no identifying features, rather a list as you describe. The children have made suggestions and we do our best! A box is about 30sterling and we stuff the space with with stocking filler type things. We fund raise an equal amount for overseas.

And yes, I get regular things in my eye that cause them to water.

I've got some sticky notes in different designs for this year! :twothumbs:
 

Cloudbusting

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You can certainly tell we're past Halloween now... That said I can hardly judge, I have (barring stuff I'm making for people) finished my Christmas shopping... :)

Getting a really long list of kids names from care homes does sound incredibly sad. We donate at the local church which is passed on to charities, and the presents are just allocated to different age groups. It feels a little impersonal although I understand why it's organised like that. I get a bit worried about whether the kids will like the presents we buy, but these days I tend to get little lego sets as I think they're quite a good bet.
 

Yithian

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You can certainly tell we're past Halloween now... That said I can hardly judge, I have (barring stuff I'm making for people) finished my Christmas shopping... :)

Getting a really long list of kids names from care homes does sound incredibly sad. We donate at the local church which is passed on to charities, and the presents are just allocated to different age groups. It feels a little impersonal although I understand why it's organised like that. I get a bit worried about whether the kids will like the presents we buy, but these days I tend to get little lego sets as I think they're quite a good bet.
Yes :( We include cards signed with our christian names and the social workers write the child's name on the envelope. Which I think helps?

I think we are supposed/allowed to add our Christian names to the tags, but I did wonder whether we would be permitted to add a small photograph of ourselves to the card.

I'm sure there are all kinds of confidentiality rules in force for a variety of sensible and stupid reasons, but I do prefer the idea of a personal link between people.
 

Frideswide

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I'm sure there are all kinds of confidentiality rules in force for a variety of sensible and stupid reasons, but I do prefer the idea of a personal link between people.

It's not just confidentiality, it's managing expectations. "In the Old Days" apparently some of the children believed that the gift from the nice people meant that they would soon be adopted or whatever. :(
 

PeteByrdie

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Why do we have threads for different years for things like Halloween and Christmas? Surely one year just tags on to the next.

Anyway, it seems John Lewis has taken The Boy from Space as inspiration for this year's commercial. A bit saccharine, but also a bit creepy, so I think it's okay.

 

Analogue Boy

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Why do we have threads for different years for things like Halloween and Christmas? Surely one year just tags on to the next.

Anyway, it seems John Lewis has taken The Boy from Space as inspiration for this year's commercial. A bit saccharine, but also a bit creepy, so I think it's okay.

Fuck John Lewis and fuck their ET crap ripoff and dubblefuck The Guardian.
And Tripplefuck Santa and sainthood as it’s all aliens now and fuck your belief.
All it does is reinforce my belief that modern music is rubbish and they have to revert to old old songs for any form of crass emotional meaning.

Not sure about the overt message that whites are the aliens now.
 
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PeteByrdie

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Fuck John Lewis and fuck their ET crap ripoff and dubblefuck The Guardian.
And Tripplefuck Santa and sainthood as it’s all aliens now and fuck your belief.
All it does is reinforce my belief that modern music is rubbish and they have to revert to old old songs for any form of crass emotional meaning.

Not sure about the overt message that whites are the aliens now.
Succinctly put.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Anyway, it seems John Lewis has taken The Boy from Space as inspiration for this year's commercial. A bit saccharine, but also a bit creepy, so I think it's okay.
Muuch as I admire the production, it's maybe a wee bit too serious?

There is of course an inherent Fortean connection - 'UFO crash landing and ET contact'! :)
 

maximus otter

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Fuck John Lewis and fuck their ET crap ripoff and dubblefuck The Guardian.
And Tripplefuck Santa and sainthood as it’s all aliens now and fuck your belief.
All it does is reinforce my belief that modern music is rubbish and they have to revert to old old songs for any form of crass emotional meaning.

Not sure about the overt message that whites are the aliens now.

Time to switch to decaf?

maximus otter
 

charliebrown

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My wife and I have gotten to the age that we don’t try to decorate anymore, but she might buy a two foot tree already decorated to put in the middle of the dining room table.

It kinda reminds me of the old Charlie Brown Christmas TV special in 1965 where his tree was poorly.

Poor Charlie Brown, people always doing him wrong.
 

Bad Bungle

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Now, I won't hear a word against cushions. Not JL cushions, obviously though because I can't afford those. Just...cushions in general.
I refuse to encourage a new cushion thread - but .. one is a cushion that's an Xmas present from last year, one is a cushion I chose myself from the charidy shop and one came from my former home.
All totally impractical for sitting on, which I assumed was their function.

Cushion_0637.jpg
 

Lord Lucan

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Christmas has indeed begun. We've setup the Christmas displays in our store (and we do it in a big way). Yesterday, now that people can travel freely here, was our biggest day from a takings perspective in a very long time. It ought to continue like this all the way through until Christmas Eve.
From a business owners view, the Christmas season is generally 10 weeks long as we have to sell all of the stuff that we've bought, in a limited window. No one wants to special it off at 50% off post Christmas.
Christmas items (that is trees, lights, decorations etc) are all pre ordered back in February allowing plenty of lead time for manufacturing.
Covid has thrown plenty of spanners into the works this year and worldwide shipping has caused many shortages and delivery delays.
Personally, we've spent somewhere between 60-70K wholesale worth of Christmas stock for our store and we hope to sell all of it by the 25th Dec, but if not, prices for stock are expected to rise by up to 25% next year, so we'll store any remainder away.
 

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That does look nice

What is the cultural significance of the pig @Vardoger?
It was a tradition for families to slaughter a pig for Christmas and serve Christmas pork ribs or steak. These days it's sold in grocery stores almost ready to be put in the oven for a few hours on Christmas Eve before dinner. Turkey is a new tradition coming from the states and the UK, often served on Christmas Day and/or New Years Eve.

Christmas pork rib:
1636239589085.png
 

charliebrown

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My older daughter found a great sale on Christmas Cordial Cherry Candy and for the first time in a long time I ate a few.

They only come out around Christmas.

According to Wikipedia, Cordial Cherries have been around since the 1400s and can be filled with anything ( alcohol ).

Men would eat a bunch thinking it would improve the sex life, and women would eat a bunch thinking it would help their periods.

Hmmm—maybe I should eat more.
 
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