Christmas is over

Dear Bloggers,

One of the best moments of Christmas comes when it is over. I say that not as a party-pooper - I love it when it is happening - but because we now can get on with real life, which is not that bad for most of us.

Much as we love visitors, and especially small ones, the silence is heavenly when they have gone to bed. We need no longer spend hours on frenzied High Street hunts for presents.
There is an end to all the business excuses which start in November about 'getting back to you after Christmas'.

This is a terrific time for doing household jobs pending since Easter, making up to the cats for being neglected since advent, steering children back to planet earth after weeks in orbit, and imposing censorship on all further moaning about the weather.

I am not a fan of the Christmas frenzy

I enjoyed the snow, but we have been there and done that. The stuff is sensational when new, clean and present in sufficient quantities for toboggans. But once it starts fading to slush, the picture-postcard thrill is gone. Eventhough it is hell to drive on these kind of days.

I once tried going abroad for Christmas, sitting in the sun while my friend described with sardonic glee exactly what cosmetic work each of the women around the pool had done. He is a great bastard if it comes to women.

However, the palm trees felt hopelessly wrong for the season, and we agreed never to repeat the experiment. This is the time for mulled wine, not bikinis. Almost everyone who loves their own home wants to be in it. I am bemused by those who brave the horrors of December airports, even when not snowbound.

My clever wife always makes a very small christmas effort on dining and I will do the rest of it as we do not see the point of the extreme luxury of eating turkey. By Boxing Day it resembles Sonja Bakker on a diet - almost invisible from a side view. Today it is already homemade tomatosoup. And now we have to go for another week and we will start a New Year without any future plans.

We go back to normal rations as soon as the remains of the exclusive diner have been cleared up, and are jolly grateful, too. I feel bad for the ones that were born in the month of December as their birthday is normally snowed under by the festivities in this month.

If you want children who will love you, prospective parents should be careful about what they do together around mid-March. Few babies born in December are grateful. They resent seeing Mummy sticking candles into a half-eaten Christmas cake on the grounds that there is no consumer demand for a special birthday one.

In our family we are great believers in getting on with it, whatever 'it' may be. This is a perfect season for looking ahead rather than backwards, and making things happen.

At this time of year, I am also spared from sceptical spectators. When other people are around, I realise that some do not regard what I do for a living. Some of them think that I am still working on a ship. That is how interrested people are nowadays.

No one under 40 seems to do it yourself any more, but this is a great week for those of us who love our Black & Deckers to build new shelves, mend the fence and sort out the garage.

I can never understand why home carpentry and decorating have gone out of fashion. However many Poles are clamouring for custom, it is fun as well as cash-saving to do some of the business in-house.

We oldies have the supreme satisfaction that we need not start getting glum about the prospect of going back to school. January is a much brighter month than December, with snowdrops and lengthening days.

Our ancestors had cause to get depressed at New Year about the prospect of seeing little fresh food before spring, facing months of salted meat and half-frosted potatoes. We are subject to no such privations, unless something goes horribly wrong at Albert Heijn.

We can walk country lanes with the assurance of returning to warm homes, and wave away the last days of 2010 without a tremor of nostalgia.

This is a time for looking ahead, sighing with relief that a pretty dismal year for most of us is drawing to an end.

If children believe in Santa Claus or in my country Sinterklaas, it is the privilege - indeed the duty - of their parents to cherish a conviction that the times to come will be better than the times past. Here's hoping that it will be so for you.

The Old Sailor,


  1. Goedenavond/morgen Old Sailor,
    ook toevallig ik ben jarig vandaag, maar heb het nooit erg gevonden hoor,
    juist wel leuk, veel in onze familie hadden vrij tussen kerst en oud en nieuw,
    dus veel visite, en dat wil je toch als kind,
    ik vind het nu ook geen probleem soms vier ik het op de dag zelf of op oudejaarsdag,
    nog een paar daagjes dan is alles weer normaal,
    wens u en uw familie een prettige jaarwisseling,

    groetjes que.

  2. Beste Old Sailor,

    Voor het nieuwe jaar wens ik u en uw familie.
    Al het beste om 2011 mee te beginnen.
    Een goede gezondheid , veel liefde en geluk.
    Sterkte om tegenslagen te overwinnen.
    Een glimlach om elke dag mee te beginnen.
    Gelukkig Nieuwjaar.

    groetjes que.

  3. Anonymous2/1/11 18:41

    leave alde seeman, ik kom letter wol werom om my ta te lizzen op dit nije blogje. Ik kom jo no earst efkes in hiel noflik soun nijjier winskjen.
    Hoop dat it plaatsje ek lukt, mar ha sterk myn twyfels.



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