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Christmas

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…to friends, acquaintances and gentle readers…

from the Kickass Canada Girl and the Imperceptible Immigrant.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a splendid Hogmany!

 


It has been my habit over the last five years or so to post to this blog a collation of festive photos of Christmassy paraphernalia such as Christmas trees, lights and decorations, sumptuously wrapped gifts and suchlike.

Christmas this year is different.

The decorations have remained in the Christmas cupboard. There is no tree or twinkling lights. There are no decorations. Our renovations (and the concomitant basement dwelling) and the last minute return from our holiday in the sun has mitigated against our usual display of festive cheer.

There is – nonetheless – an abundance of Christmas spirit. There is also the possibility here in Victoria of something that I do not recall ever having experienced before… a white Christmas!

So, whatever form the festival takes for you this year – and wherever you may be – we wish a very Happy Christmas to to you all!

 

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Photo by Andy Dawson Reid“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”

T.S. Elliott – ‘The Journey of the Magi’

‘Tis Epiphany… The feast that celebrates the day on which the Magi supposedly reached Bethlehem and by some accounts – through their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh – kicked off the whole business of gift giving at Christmas. Who now would wait until twelfth night for that particular pleasure?

Wikipedia offers this snippet regarding the last night of Christmas:

“A belief has arisen in modern times, in some English-speaking countries, that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, a tradition originally attached to the festival of Candlemas (2 February), which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.”

Given that most folk these days like to get Christmas kicked off good and early – and who can blame them given the general dreariness of December in many parts of the northern hemisphere – it would be a wonder if the trimmings and decorations could ever last long enough to get through the whole of January – though should they so do it would certainly brighten up that month as well.

We here are strictly ‘trad’. It is January 6th – down come the ‘deccies’ – out goes the tree – hoovered up are the many needles that have dropped and been ground into the carpet! Everything is packed away into the Christmas Cupboard (see attached illustration!) ready for next year.

Now all that remains is to find somewhere to dispose of an extremely fragile Christmas tree. There are a number of local organisations that offer tree chipping services over the next few days for a charitable donation, or I could simply impose myself (once again!) on our dear friends in Saanichton, whose landscape design and garden maintenance business naturally possesses its own chipper.

In either case the trick is to get the tree to its destination without it shedding its entire remaining compliment of needles all over the Lexus!

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It is Christmas Eve…

On this day each year I routinely upload a few images of Christmas trimmings and suchlike and wish everyone the compliments of the season.

Why should this year be different?…

…to friends, acquaintances and gentle readers…

from the Kickass Canada Girl and the Imperceptible Immigrant.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a splendid Hogmany!

Photo by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson Reid

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Photo by Andy Dawson ReidI purchased the apartment in the small village in the south of Buckinghamshire (in the UK) that the Kickass Canada Girl and I were to have such trouble selling before we moved to Canada last summer – back in the first year of the new millennium.

When I took possession in the November of that year I knew that the place needed a fair amount of renovation before I would be able move in but as I was, by great good fortune, at that point housed by the school at which I then worked, I was able to engage a builder and to give him free reign over the apartment in the run-up to Christmas.

As I mentioned in the very early days of this blog, the Georgian manor of which my apartment was but a portion occupied a prominent position in the centre of one of those arcadian English villages (four hundred inhabitants (or thereabouts), sixteenth century church, one pub (of varying quality), a cricket club (likewise!), a huddle of ‘artisans’ dwellings and farm buildings) which are, of course, all as pretty as a picture postcard!

Most days, after leaving work, I drove the short distance to my new residence to check on the (apparently inevitably) glacial progress of the building works. It would be dark by the time I wound my way down the hill into the village so I was accustomed to not really being able to make out that much of the surroundings. Given the sleepy, bucolic nature of the place, therefore, you might imagine my surprise – nay, total shock! – on entering the village on one such dark evening to come face to face with a single small terraced cottage – just across from the pub – that had been adorned with sufficient Christmas illumination that it must surely have distracted pilots on their run-in to Heathrow airport.

Lest you think my reaction excessive you should remember that in the main the Brits don’t go in for American-style public displays of decoration for the outsides of their residences (the which they tend to find a little on the… er, garish side) preferring instead the traditional Christmas tree, tinsel and paper-chains on the inside.

Canadians are (as in most things) somewhat more restrained than their neighbours to the south, but do have something of a liking for illuminated inflatable figures of such size that they must needs be deflated should the weather forecast prophesy wind speeds in excess of the balmy. This year – ignoring my habitually raised eyebrow – the Girl persuaded me that – as we are both now Canadians (if only in the honorary sense on my part) – we should make a little more effort to join in. As you can see from the image that heads this post we didn’t exactly go overboard… but this seems to me to be a suitably mid-Atlantic compromise.

Those who find my attitude to such things snobbish will be delighted to hear that back in 2000 I rapidly received my comeuppance. Having grumbled to all and sundry about the unsuitability of such a vivid display for a sleepy rural village I discovered – on my next visit to the pub – that the owners of the cottage had lost a young son to a cancer and subsequently each year decorated the frontage as part of a fund-raiser for an appropriate children’s cancer charity.

That shut me up!

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…to friends, acquaintances and gentle readers…

from the Kickass Canada Girl and the Imperceptible Immigrant.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a splendid Hogmany!

 Photo by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson Reid

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…a merry little Christmas!

To friends, acquaintances and gentle readers

  the Kickass Canada Girl and the Imperceptible Immigrant

wish – a wonderful holiday!

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At the School the Parents Group have decided that our normal low-key run-up to the end of the autumn term is all a bit too dreary for words, and have thus arranged to provide us with real Christmas trees (to complement our normal lone artifical affair) complete with fairy lights and baubles.

All together now…  Aaaaaahh!!

Photo by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson ReidPhoto by Andy Dawson Reid

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…to friends, acquaintances and gentle readers…

from the Kickass Canada Girl and the Imperceptible Immigrant.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

Photo by Andy Dawson Reid

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