Madeleine – 12 days of Christmas

If you are getting a bit bored over the festive season this year, you might like to pop into ShiningInLuz each day over the 12 days of Christmas. I hope to have a fresh story or report on each of the 12 days.

Some of these will be Madeleine McCann related and some of them will not. I am using this season to develop an idea I want to use at Christmas next year, so things are very embryonic at this point. It is a bit like a rehearsal session before the production proper. NB The 2017 version has nothing to do with Madeleine.

To be honest, I haven’t yet come up with a pick list of 12 items for 2016 that I can regale you with. I have got a couple of stories fully developed but it is obvious that I need more. About 10 more!

I have to admit I am not a particularly Christmassy person. It was lots of fun when I was very young. It is also great fun today for the little ones of the family today. For everyone else it is stress and hard work. I am definitely not a fan of a traditional roast lunch/dinner at Christmas, though if that is what you like, I sincerely hope you will enjoy yours.

What kind of present do I hope to get this Christmas? To be honest, I don’t hope to get any. I am sufficiently well off that if I want something I simply buy it. There are subtle hints that I am to be bombarded with chocolate, sweets and cakes this year. Perhaps people have not recognised that I seldom eat chocolates, sweets and cakes. We have some chocolate treats in the fridge that date back to Easter and even last year’s Christmas. I have no idea if they are still in date.

What kind of present do I hope to give this year? Here we hit exactly the same obstacle. Our family is well-enough off to buy most of the things it desires. There is a sense in which this is extremely depressing. Christmas ceases to be a simple pleasure and shifts to being excessive aka indulgence.

Last year to my dearest I gave the gift of nostalgia. I am the keeper of our family photographs, the kind printed on paper, not the digital iPhone type. I sorted through the packets and came up with perhaps 30 that reflect our life together. These are photos of our private holidays abroad, including several ventures to Portugal, but all across the Mediterranean and northern America.

And then there were the photos of the family growing up in England. Our daughter, obviously pregnant, pratting about up and down on our rear lawn on her son’s toy tricycle. Or the grandchildren as babies, sitting in our “swimming pool”, which was in fact a plastic washing-up basin.

This year I have decided against buying “things” of the type one can buy in supermarkets or on Amazon, and to move to experiences instead.

This may sound very odd, but last year’s Christmas present went down extremely well i.e. it was highly appreciated. I have a few bits and pieces planned for this Christmas. Perhaps it will work and perhaps it will fall flat on its face. Who knows?

Why don’t you pop into ShiningInLuz and find out what happens over the 12 days of Christmas 2016?

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