Sunday, 8 December 2013

Santa's Grotto.

You can;t escape it can you?   As I said in yesterday's post, I deliberately avoided our little market town yesterday as it was Christmas themed all day.

This morning the farmer and I made the twelve mile journey to our nearest beautiful forest/nature reserve in order to collect a couple of season tickets (my last present - I have now finished my Christmas shopping and am trying not to sound smug).  It doesn't open until eleven in Winter months and as it was only just that time we expected there would be no-one there.

We turned the corner into the Car Park and there wasn't a space!!  Why not?   Alas, Santa had moved his Grotto to a little hidey hole within the park and there was a queue a mile long - children, parents, grannies and grandads - all eager to visit Santa.   I had to queue ten minutes to get to the ticket office.   And what a ten minutes.  Several children were sending up clouds of bubbles, so that the air was full of them; others were charging about full of excitement.   The atmosphere was lovely.

And it struck me as I stood there.   There was not an under-privileged child in that queue (certainly not in monetary terms) - it was £6.50 per adult to get inside for a start.  In terms of love and security of course, one never knows.   But when I see pictures on the television of our inner city children, our under-privileged children, the children of parents out of work and struggling to put a meal on the table, I realise that we do, on the whole, live in a very affluent area.

So I think we should all spare a thought this week-end, in the run up to Christmas to those for whom Christmas will maybe not be a happy one this year (this includes those whose homes have been flooded or washed away in this week's storms) and it also includes all those refugee children from Syria for whom Christmas is of course not an occasion they celebrate, but who for the last few years have had absolutely nothing to celebrate anyway- and nothing  for the forseeable future.

We are so lucky.   Let's be thankful for it.


Jan said...

I absolutely agree!

John Gray said...

Well said pat....
A 95 year old lady walked right across the village to hand deliver scones and mince pies to us
Now THATS the Christmas spirit!

Gwil W said...

When I was small Santa lived in a cave in the back of Woolworths.

Elizabeth Wix said...

I think there is a larger gap between the haves and the have-nots recently.
The haves have a great deal too much it strikes me.
Henry is currently earning money by being helpful (!!)
to buy some presents for children who otherwise would not get them.
He earned $15 around Thanksgiving and chose food for the food bank. I asked his mother if it was all CANDY but apparently there were beans etc.
Long may he remain innocent and kind!

angryparsnip said...

Lovey post today.
Very surprising for you.
I am very lucky to live were I do. I support UNICEF but my new most favorite group is the Police Association that has one at risk child + policeman paired up. They go to Target and pick out shoes,socks and a coat but other special goodies are given out by Target. I love this.

cheers, parsnip

The Solitary Walker said...

Completely agree with everything you say, Pat. Hopefully a lot of us will be giving to the Syrian appeal this Christmas.

Heather said...

We are indeed very fortunate. It is good at this time of plenty and celebration to remember, and do something for, those who have nothing or are struggling to cope.

shadypinesqltr said...

I agree with you entirely. My church has adopted a senior "rest home" for low-income pensioners. Only 4 out of the 40 or so residents have regular visitors. The small items they have requested (lotions, magazines, playing cards - even colouring books by some) makes me realize how much I take for granted.

Cro Magnon said...

Those of us who 'have' should always be grateful; it can easily disappear, as it has for so many Syrians Filipinos and others.

Bovey Belle said...

Our eldest daughter works for a charity which helps the homeless, and at the moment has an add-on job helping another charity which supports and feeds the homeless at Christmas. She has been inundated with people who want to help over Christmas. Many of them once homeless themselves and want to give something back.

It is all too easy to forget that not everyone is as privileged as we would like to think, especially children.

MorningAJ said...

There's a massive row broken out in Birmingham because the art gallery has done away with its Santa grotto this year. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) has one of the finest UK art collections outside London but some people probably only go there once a year to see Santa.

They've had to do away with him because their grants have been reduced this year. Art all year, or Santa for three weeks? I know which I'd prefer. (Though I suspect if I couldn't afford to feed my family this year I'd prefer no art at all.)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad to hear that you all agree. So many children have far too much at Christmas (when we were small we got one present not a sack full) while others have little or nothing. Nothing is fair in this world. Thanks for calling in.