Symbols and signs of the most wonderful time
SIGNS of the festive season are everywhere, heralding the prospect of being nice to each other, if only for a few weeks. Once we waited with bated breath for the decorations to go up in shops, before staggering round them with a long list and heavy bags. Nowadays much of the shopping is done on-line. The temptation of next day delivery is too great to resist, but I still love the atmosphere in our shopping centres, so I save some of my present-buying to totter round to Noddy Holder’s Merry Christmas Everybody, the favoured Christmas anthem since the 1970s.
It is still a magical time. I love the mulled wine, Christmas carols and the story of the Nativity. Who has not enjoyed a primary school production at some time in their lives?
Many memories are made at this time, and I’ve certainly never forgotten playing a very scared shepherd with a tea towel on my head, and carrying a wonky lamp.
New traditions include the daft TV adverts for the big stores, which are hotly anticipated. Or so we are informed by the media. Have you seen this year’s Waitrose robin that battles through terrible weather and over rough oceans – to eat a crumb of a mince pie in a British garden? Traditional, sentimental, patriotic? Yes. Naff? Never – it’s CHRISTMAS!
Mind you, if the robin had heard about Heston Blumenthal’s latest offering for Waitrose: a strange bacon and banana trifle, perhaps he wouldn’t have bothered braving the elements. Who knows what was in that mince pie on the bird table …?
Mr F and I still write Christmas cards, which is delightfully old-fashioned and much more personal than greetings through social networks. Our nod to modern technology includes computerised address labels, and an advent calendar that is a delight to open each day on my laptop.
We may be far removed from kings following a star, but Mr F and I always look out for odd signs when we are on a long journey. One on the M40 recently was really worth taking our eyes off the road. It said, ‘This Sign is Not in Use’.
We groan over the ‘baby on board’ signs which imply we all drive like maniacs unless given special instruction. But the best one we spotted was on the back of an Abel and Cole van. It said: Courgettes on Board.