earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Yes it is pretty bleak out there right now. This was one of my favourite hymns as a kid. We sang hymns every day in school. I was raised and lived in England until I came to the States in 1971. So Winter carols and Christmas carols were a part of our existence. I love the old hymns. Our schools did not ban religion as they do here in the States. So it was that we began each day with assembly and we sang a couple of hymns. It was lovely around Christmas time. Kids really get into singing the favourite carols.
We used to also enjoy the Salvation Army who would do the rounds at this time of year. They would gather by the lamp post at the top of our road on Bidwell Hill. They would have a small band and several singers. People would stand at their doors with coats on and listen and the braver ones would walk up the road and listen to them. We also enjoyed Carole singers come and sing at the front door. I think our parents would give them a few coins if we had any. Sometimes a treat if not.
I really don't think people are the same anymore. They do not seem to enjoy these things. It's all School plays and the hustle and bustle of shopping. They are missing so many blessings. I suppose what you have never known!!!. A lot of people no longer celebrate Christmas, they now celebrate any number of alternate holidays and somehow the joy of the season has been "Hallmarked" and spoiled. Sure, as a Christian I celebrate Christmas but do not at all resent others having their own holiday to celebrate but it has all lost it's intent and meaning as far as I can see. I know from my perspective, I know Christ was not even born at this time of year, there was no snow as he was born in Bethlehem. We have incorporated so many pagan rituals and it probably took the "wise men" years to travel to find Him. He was "a young child" when they arrived on the scene. For most Christian holidays I cant get past the fake stuff that has been brought in to commercialize it. Christmas for me has always been different though. It still has the awe for me. I think of it as family time. These past years we have through necessity cut back on gift giving. So Thanksgiving is our bigger family time. After that I do decorate for Christmas and begin my baking and treat making. That will become my gift giving from now on. Things I make myself.
It is still for the kids, but like most things now, it seems to promote greed. We have always given too much, so too much became expected. I am guilty. I really don't care about getting but I love giving. This year no one will be here. So no Christmas dinner. It's not worth it for just us two and I did it all at Thanksgiving so will enjoy the rest. Maybe I should start on next years gifts haha. I have ideas already.