Monthly Photo Challenge: December

December, the beginning of the meteorological winter, started off sunny and cold. A good time to nip out with the camera and see what was happening in the countryside.


Lots of Christmas markets and other events happening in the county, but it’s not something I really celebrate now. Maybe as you get older the whole Christmas furore gets a bit much. I am not religious and my children are adults with children of their own. I don’t need expensive gifts and I am a little tired of the whole consumer aspect of the season. We are bombarded with adverts and emails from October to spend our cash, or more likely credit. And perhaps it is time to say goodbye to the Victorian traditions of Christmas, the cards, the tree, Santa Claus, crackers and decorations. Oh, yes, those Victorians were great at commercializing Christmas.

I’m not totally against a little cheer at this time of the year, after all in pagan times it was a celebration of the winter solstice when people had a feast and made merry and decorated their homes with holly and ivy  and mistletoe, encouraging the return of spring, and goodness knows we can all do with encouraging that. Father Christmas, dressed in green, was part of this midwinter festival. But it was the Victorians who transformed the idea of Christmas so that it became centred around the family. The preparation and eating of the feast, decorations and gift giving, entertainments and parlour games – all were essential to the celebration of the festival and were to be shared by the whole family. And yes, they brought in the idea of the turkey and singing carols.

A chess game
A chess game

I remember Christmas as a child when I got a stocking, complete with shiny new pennies, a red apple, an orange and a few nuts and maybe a couple of small toys like a dinky car and some bubbles. I always got a book, a selection box and some item of clothing – a scarf, new gloves, a hat, socks and as I got older maybe a new winter coat. A game or a jigsaw and a main present – once a bike! Now it seems that parents feel the need to spend hundreds (£$€) on their children and stockings have turned into giant sacks!

Christmas wreath
Christmas wreath

Okay, rant over. Thank goodness it only comes once a year. And now it is over I can go out without the risk of crowded streets and crowded shops, I can enjoy the quiet of the countryside and the empty beauty of the beaches. Admire the structure of the winter-bare trees. Photograph lichens and over-wintering birds. Flowers still hanging on despite the cold and wet. Winter light and winter sunsets. And enjoy watching the garden birds visit the feeders I have put up in the tree. The willow tree that is!

And enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the winter sunshine with a view of the sea. And dream of creating new traditions…

A flat white
A flat white

The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2017– a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. So if you haven’t joined in before perhaps this is the year to do so? Read his blog for the new rules this year (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.

39 Comments Add yours

  1. pommepal says:

    I do so agree with all your “rant” about Christmas. I try to stay well away from all that commercialism. But your description of your childhood Christmas with the stocking with apple and orange in the toe and a few small gifts was exactly as I remember it way back then…. Pleased to hear you had a pleasant time this year in Cornwall. Our Christmas day spent with 5 Grandchildren was a joy, finger foods and salads and of course had to finish with a Pavlova. Then back home, leaving all the paper and tinsel behind for another year. Best wishes for 2017. Will you be visiting Aus this year?

    1. Heyjude says:

      One good thing about doing the visiting is that you can leave!! I would have enjoyed being with you for the pavlova – yummy! Hoping to visit Perth in August, but we shall see.

      1. pommepal says:

        We are going to NZ in March then toying with the idea of Cambodia in July (wow that is making the year slip by!!!)

        1. Heyjude says:

          So you have wanderlust again then? 😀

  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    It’s all got way our of hand hasn’t it? Each year the expectations for children get higher, we are creating monsters.
    I still enjoy the lights, the pretty trees,the atmosphere and seeing family of course. But best of all, shutting the door and relaxing for a few days.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have no objections to some light at this time of year, even the cheery markets with the foodie stalls are good fun, except it is a nightmare parking to reach one. At least we have managed to do away with the adult present giving. OH and I exchange a small gift or clothing and then plan on a house gift when the madness is over.

  3. I’m not religious either, so we don’t celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas. In Norwegian the word for Christmas is still the old pagan word Jul (Yule). It’s a lovely holiday, but I agree that it’s too commercial. Everything becomes commercial eventually. Even what was originally alternative underground cultures, like hardcore/punk music and skateboarding has become commercial.

    1. Forgot to say: Thanks for participating in my challenge!

      1. Heyjude says:

        It has been a pleasure CG and a great way to record the passing of the year. Glad you are continuing into a third year 😀

    2. Heyjude says:

      Perhaps eventually people will revert to a simpler way of celebrating? But I won’t hold my breath…

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m relieved that the holiday season is behind us once again for all the reasons you mentioned. Having said that, I really did have a good time this year with more fun and silliness rather than being frantic to have everything ‘perfect’. I can’t remember where I read ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect – just fun’. That was my motto this year and it made a world of difference 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It just seems to get worse every year with all the expectations for everyone to have a marvellous time. Some of us just like peace and quiet 🙂

  5. I too am over the commercialism and Christmas hysteria since Dylan left home. I even gave our tree away a few years back (although I have kept the decorations for when I have grandchildren). I much prefer to immerse myself in a foreign country at that time of year to escape it all 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have decorations too and the grandchildren brought their own tree with them! Which foreign country did you escape to then?

      1. Wise minds think alike!! I went to Morocco for just over 2 weeks.

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