Wednesday, 30 December 2009

So which Christmas traditions have survived?

If there is one word that is usually employed to justify practically anything over Christmas it is that phrase ‘tradition’. Don’t like sprouts? Tough, it’s a tradition. Don’t want to visit that weird uncle you have avoided all year? Forget it – it’s a tradition.

And so it goes on.

But just how are some of our Christmas traditions baring up? Looking at the festive time that has just passed, are those precious practices really as safe as we think? Investigative journalism beginneth!

Santa. Remarkably (and thankfully for any children reading!) Father Christmas seems as popular and as busy as ever. He obviously had a lot to do on Christmas Eve but he was everywhere around Bath before then. Santa is seemingly immortal.
(Tradition Survival Rating *****)

Christmas Cards. Definitely a dying art. I can guarantee that you didn’t receive as many this year as last and that you will receive even less next year. Nowadays you are just as likely to get a dancing elf on your computer as a card in the post.
(Tradition Survival Rating **)

Christmas dinner. Chat to any group of people and you will find the same repeated story – everybody dislikes at least one item on their Christmas dinner plate. Does it stop them getting it? Of course not. The Christmas meal looks as secure as the, err, Bank of England. Sorry turkeys – this one is here to stay.

(Tradition Survival Rating *****)

Christmas carols/Nativity plays. These looked a bit under threat a few years ago as fewer schools seemed to be holding them. Now, they seem to be making something of a come back and it looks as though we will be harking the Herald and admiring children who play ‘fourth camel from the left’ for years to come.

(Tradition Survival Rating ****).

Christmas presents. The Three Wise Men bought frankincense, myrrh and gold to the baby Jesus – nowadays, sadly, they would be more likely to take a few Shekels and a token for Bethlehem’s Toys R Us. The practice of just giving someone a lump of money and having the same amount given back to you is frankly pointless. Bring back real, wrapped-up, presents we cry!
(Tradition Survival Rating ****)

Christmas TV. This is still a tradition that is ‘hanging in there’ and once again this year BBC1 came up trumps. Eastenders remains one of my guilty pleasures and what could be nicer or more festive than seeing someone murdered in the Queen Vic on Christmas night?
(Tradition Survival Rating ****)

And finally....

Jesus. He is the ‘reason for the season’ but you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of that fact. Just take a look at the (few) Christmas cards that you got sent this year and I can guarantee that unless you are a vicar there will more images of Father Christmas, a reindeer or even a snowflake than the little fella from the stable. Jesus, of course, would (I am sure) just be happy that everyone is celebrating His birthday but just as if He were a twin there must be times when He thinks ‘just for one day I wish I was the only star of the show . . .’
(Tradition Survival Rating **** – but I am sure He will just about cope!).

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