Monthly Archives: December 2011
“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.”
Hamilton Wright Mabie
From ‘I want‘ to ‘I must’, it seems that making lists are all the rage at the moment. We’ve just about got over the gluttonous marathon that is Christmas, save a few left over pieces of turkey, cold potatoes and butter clad carrots that will likely be stored, yet uneaten, in the fridge until next year. And so, we enter that rather strange period of time between boxing day crackers and New Years Eve fireworks, affectionately known to some as ‘The Crimbo Limbo’.
Fear not people, tomorrow you can gear up for bright light celebrations once more. In the meantime, it’s probably time to start making that futile, but necessary, New Years Resolutions list. Here are some ideas.
TOP TEN: NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS:
1. Say farewell to alcohol for the next 365 days. Apart from a cheeky hair of the dog on 1st January to see in the New Year. Oh, and flutes of champagne on special occasions - you know, like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, Fridays, Mondays…!
2. Battle the bulge for the last time. It’s not all that difficult, just make a few changes here and there. Grow a few inches taller. Snack on dried fruit and almonds, glitter and dust. Reduce portion sizes. BAM! Hello Size Zero.
4. Take up a new hobby. Learn chinese. Start going to those yoga classes that you sign up to at the gym each week but end up finding something
better easier to do. Learn to play the ukelele.
5. Get fit. Go to the gym more; for most of us that means actually going to the gym. Run to work. Replace walking with skipping.
6. Help others. Donate to charity. Support Team Hannah. Adopt a hedgehog. Do the washing up every now and then.
7. Wake up earlier. Repeat after me: you are over that daily battle with the snooze button. You will conquer it. You will be victorious. Good luck.
8. Read more books. Newspapers also count, it’s important to keep up with current affairs, ya know. Magazines provide a wealth of essential information too. Watching film adaptations of classic novels doesn’t count as reading… does it?
9. Make an effort with people. Be nice. Especially to friends, family and siblings.
10. Stop making promises you can’t/won’t keep.
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME AT ALL…? With signs like these, erm, yes, we do actually.
Let’s be honest here, there are certain giveaway signs that tell us that the big man is well and truly on his merry way. Ranging from bitterly cold weather, a splash of red, over played festive tunes on the radio and Christmas cards boasting glitter and goodwill on shelves around the end of September. The following list is not comprehensive, there are many more all important Christmas signals, but these come pretty high up on the list. Merry Crimble!
You Know It’s Christmas When:
1. The red starbucks cups return in abundance. Gingerbread latte anyone?
2. That advert pops up on TV for the first time. You know the one I mean. Ho Ho Holidays Are Coming…
3. You’ve already started making New Year’s Resolutions. Typically featuring unrealistic target weights, gym memberships and truck loads of fruit and veg.
4. Everything starts to look a little bit glowy and fuzzy. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
5. The Pogues are back in business and better than ever.
6. You wake up with a headache, amnesia and a token santa hat every morning in December. Tis the season to Christmas P.A.R.T-WHY? Because you gotta.
7. The radio times becomes your new best friend. Home Alone? Check. The Great Escape? Check. Love Actually? Check. Remote control within fingers reach? Check. Mulled wine in one hand, mince pie in the other? Check. You’re good to go!
8. Chocolate for breakfast. On the first day of Christmas, my advent calendar gave to me… a miniature chocolate Christmas tree. Yippee!
9. Every pavement around the world turns into Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon. Get your elbows ready for a barge-athon. Thinking about getting in by car? Yeah, good luck with that.
10. Supermarkets begin cramming shelves with half price Easter eggs. You know the score. Can never be too prepared, can we?
Glitter. Everywhere. On tables, chairs, books, windows, on carpet, paper, clothes, hair and bags to name just a few. And yes, if you look closely into the mirror, you’ll see a tiny sparkly dot right on the tip of your nose.
With just hours to go before the Christmas holidays, festivities are taking over. Lessons, in the traditional sense, are being replaced with all-singing, all-dancing, sparkly, card-making fun. And don’t worry about the state of education. All the cards in my classroom have good old-fashioned history themes. Even those tiny-but-not-as-cute-as-they-might-look year sevens have been advising the Roman Empire that conquering another country isn’t such a bad idea.
Outside the classroom, smiles and laughter are replacing the weary faces of staff and students alike. Christmas assemblies and latin-hymns fill the corridors with high squeals of “not long now miss”. The staffroom laughter intensifies with the annual secret Santa: this year it’s hot pink thongs and fart machines. Staffroom or playground? Same difference.
Form tutors, giddy from chocolate coated gifts, dance down the corridors. And, as the day draws to a close, the prize for best teacher is announced with yet more chocolate prizes on offer. It’s obvious who last years’ winner was. Eyes follow Mr. Gee as he waddles and wobbles through the canteen.
“With just hours to go before the Christmas holidays, festivities are taking over. Lessons, in the traditional sense, are being replaced with all-singing, all-dancing, sparkly, card-making fun.”
Yet with all the chocolate, buzz, sparkles, singing, creativity and excitement, it seems hard to leave those smiling little faces who’ve become, (one hopes), so eager to learn.
Buried among the ribbons, gifts and glitter there’s an emptiness to the frivolity and excitement of holidays that we all seem to ignore. The teacher sees three sorts of students: those who will enjoy happy families, those who will play happy families, and those at liberty to do neither.
We might not all enjoy a merry Christmas, but nobody can stop that glittery end of term feeling.
Love to all.
Say Hello To Emma Kleinfeld
Emma is a Teach First teacher, and although she’s too modest to admit it, she’s darn amazing at her job. She is sunshine fun, a little bit more than a little bit silly and an all round closet geek.
It now looks as though she can add writing to her list of never-ending talents. What an annoyingly beautiful human being she is.
Silver white snowflakes falling steady
by the light of a sliver moon.
The smell of sparkling cinnamon
warms a firelit room
filled with Merry Christmas makers
drunk on the promises of stars wished upon all the year through…
Jingle bells and mistletoe,
Popped corn strands strung
Blown spheres of glass hung
in hues of deepest red, blue and green glowing.
A flaxen-haired angel sitting proudly atop
a tall and handsomely tinseled tree
in all her ivory finery
A thousand tiny lights twinkling,
if eyes squint just right,
light filtered through hazelnut-rimmed irises
reflect rays of amber and white.
Soon cherubic babes will take delight
in the flight of dreams
Their angel wings nestled safely
into downy beds of purest white.
Watching their sleep,
long lashes lying soft upon cheeks
still crimson from winter’s frosty kiss.
Hurry, hurry, musn’t be late!
The old Grandfather gongs its reminder…
Cue the sugarplums please,
hang the stockings with care
And now, at last
the familiar clatter
I’d been longing to hear!
There he is, breathless
blue eyes blinking in disbelief
as I close the pine-perfumed space
between us and say,
“Kiss me like you’ve not seen me for
three hundred sixty-five days,
like you’ll not for three hundred sixty-four more.”
Say Hello To Jennifer Cannon
Jennifer is a freelance writer and owner of JenCann Productions. She is passionate about encouraging, promoting and supporting fellow entrepreneurs one word at a time! Self-proclaimed foodie, friend, traveler, connector and lover of people & music- Jennifer lives in Southern New Jersey, USA with her husband and is the proud mom of one son and two daughters.
Without wanting to get a certain song stuck in your head, I’ve decided that it’s about time to start seriously thinking about what should go on that all important Christmas list. I think I speak on behalf of the vast majority of the population when I say that we’ve all been very, very good this year. Well, if not good, then at least, careful. So Santa, you should be coming to town in just a short twinkle of time but before you pack the sleigh and put Rudolph’s, quite frankly ridiculous, nose on, could you please please add the following ten items to the sack? Cheers.
Love from us all.
ps. we’ll save you an extra mince pie, but mind the crumbs.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS:
1. You. Standard. Mariah Carey does have a point though.
2. A day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Complete with never-ending Christmas feast in the Great Hall, friendly ghosts and a ceiling of stars and snowflakes. Preferably Voldemort free.
3. A Chesterfield armchair.
4. A year’s supply of chocolate. Willy Wonka Style.
5. Another pair of socks…… NOT. Christmas Stockings are good though. We like stockings. Oh yes. Stockings can stay thank you very much.
6. A white one. Let there be snow.
7. Puppies. Which aren’t, by the way, for Christmas but for LIFE.
8. A David Attenborough voice-over to make those ordinary moments ultra special.
“Feeding time. At… the dinner table. The smell of the forthcoming meal is enough to catch the attention of creatures within a large radius, whose rumbling bellies and heavy footfall can be heard approaching in record breaking time. Soon…. a gathering. Eye contact is… crucial. One slight movement towards the knife or fork by its side can signal… disaster… for the other members of the pack. Once the fight begins, it’s each for his own. The weaker members of the species, although smaller in size, are desperate for nourishment and therefore not afraid to take on their predominantly male counterparts. A sly jab with an elbow is enough to take competitors off guard.”
9. A guilt free conscience. Moderation shmoderation. Stretchy clothes might help.
10. To get you what YOU want for Christmas. Giving is another word for love.