Listen, do you wanna know a secret? (December Reflections 23)

Today’s prompt is: A Secret

It’s the 23rd of December and for many individuals, it is practically Christmas. No doubt some of those individuals will be feeling quite excited at the prospect of the holiday. They may even be merry.

It is no secret that in our household, we do not celebrate Christmas. We do mark Christmas, I think, in our own way, by ostentatiously avoiding it. By going out of our way to avoid everything that is Christmas, we actually end up making our day quite special and it has become something of a ritual.

What do we do? We tend to pack up a picnic and go for a walk with the dog (only one now, there used to be more).

We spend December 25th as far away from tinsel, carols and TV as we possibly can, usually on a beach or up a mountain or somewhere just wild and woolly. I confess that mince pies have been partaken on occasion with our Thermos of warming coffee. Just our little nod to the season. Hypocrisy? I don’t know.

It is no coincidence that we find ourselves on a sand-and-pines campsite at The End of The World at this time. Our plans for the 25th involve a 12 kilometre hike, a deserted beach, crusty bread, ham and cheese, and (possibly weirdly but there seem to be no mince pies in Sagres) brandy-laced Baklava. This year’s coffee will be of the iced variety and there may well be a can or two of beer involved . Nell and Dusty will be coming along with us and I hope for some camera light but we are suffering some mist at present so hopes are not high on that score.

I do not intend to bore by fully explaining here and now exactly why we don’t keep Christmas. It has been said before. Let’s just stick to the fact that neither of us has a Christian (or any other religious) faith,

Many people assume that because we don’t “do” Christmas that we hate it. That’s not really true… and here is my secret: I actually love the season and many of its traditions. Or, more accurately, I love Christmas Past. I hate what it has become for many and I am not prepared to join that particular treadmill any longer. Nor do I feel comfortable with celebrating a religious holiday that I have no belief in.

So, take the Christ myth out of the proceedings, give it another name if you wish – shall we call it “Yule”? or simply the Winter Festival? Also, please remove from the whole December holidays the commercialism and the tawdry. Get rid of all the damn shopping, the excess of everything, the stupid pointless cards and the ridiculous wrappings; remove the expense and the stress. And Wham! Please get rid of Wham! I could live with that version of things and I can make concessions – I’d willingly keep the hope for snow, the log fire, and perhaps the liqueur chocolates (and the mince pies, please!), a real pine tree and some tasteful lights, and even one simple handmade gift. Oh and the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. Impossible to have the season without them.

Here’s a Christmas KISS for one and all – remember, Keep It Simple, (not) Stupid.

Featured image from a previous December 25th, picnicking on an Orcadian beach in 2006 with three dogs but completely failing to get a photo with all three of them in the frame. This is Nell, who is still with us and Griff, who is long gone.

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