Jingle Bells, jingle bells…jingle cash registers.

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It is that time again. You can see it in their eyes. The quickening in their walks to the super-market. An edginess in the voice. ‘Father Christmas is coming to town’. More and more shopping malls are employing experienced  female  ‘father’ Christmases.  With all the sexual abuse of children coming to the fore, the last bastion of male domination has been abandoned. It is frightening is it not? Not a religion or faith has been spared. The clergy are now queuing up at courts and even distant Cardinal’s finest damask mitres are starting to wobble. In any case, children are deemed to be safer  on mother Christmas’ knees than on the old bony but jolly male version. Soon, prams and mother will line up to get the obligatory photo taken. The transition to the female Father Christmas has been seamless. No worries at all. Father Christmas is sulking and his reindeer off their moss.

On a 7.30 am ABC rapport, a warning was issued that even though for most this pre-Christmas period it is a happy time. Not for all. Families get together, enjoy a nice dinner. The giving of presents. The Christmas tree taken out of the box, branches all screwed together, all electrically lit up inside a cosy lounge. The outside of garages, eaves, doorways and even gutters also all alight with festive multi coloured twinkling lights. The shops are full of buckets and buckets of those lights and it is a competition like nothing else. Neighbours trying to out-do this latest race to have the most intricate lit up exterior.  The MacMansions are of course unbeatable when it comes to large areas being able to get lit up. Some of those now look as if driving past an air-port or Las Vegas.

The warning on the program touched upon that charities were stretched to the limit. That family violence was already picking up and that the time of partner and wife abuse was always at its worst during the period leading up to Christmas. Someone commented on another program that in the hours at the end of the last shopping day on Christmas eve, financial transactions are peaking at 250.000 per SECOND. There has to be a connection between that and outbursts of violence. Where is the money coming from?

Are we all somehow joined to cash registers? Has capitalism managed to convince us that happiness is only available at Westfield shopping Cathedrals. I remember a pair of hand knitted grey socks hanging from the chimney back then and perhaps a toy or two. A meccano set. Dad’s rare cooking skills came out in making fondant sweets that he made from molten sugar and some almond essence poured into  small metal forms. The Christmas tree was real and so were the candles and dad’s fondants hanging from the pungent smelling spruce-tree. The streets sounds were muffled by snow and all was real. No electronic nervous sounds. Christmas had a smell and  it was so real. No plastic or racing twitching lights, or drunken brawls . No garbage cans afterwards spilling over with un-eaten food, rotting hams or pizzas  eaten out of a box. The lonely prawns abandoned on the nature strip.

It was so peaceful then and it was real.

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30 Responses to “Jingle Bells, jingle bells…jingle cash registers.”

  1. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I remember those real Christmases. Another loss. I have not met Mother Christmas yet, but I assure she will vetted and placed on her throne at all the shopping malls as soon as the last bite of turkey has been eaten. BTW I am told that there will be a world wide shortage of canned pumpkin, so maybe you should start stocking up, or choose another pie for the Thanksgiving feast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Plenty of pumpkin here, Kayti. I don’t think pumpkin eating in Australia at Christmas time has taken off. I personally like the sweet potato and use it in baked dinners.
      We are taking a curry with us tomorrow that I cooked a couple of days ago and froze it. The grand-kids are now mainly becoming independent and we don’t sit them as often as in the past when their mother is working. However, they miss out on our generous pocket money now.
      Both the boys will be keenly waiting our arrival tomorrow! “Do we get back-pay”, cheeky Max asked us on the phone? Can you believe it?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    It has gotten out of hand, no doubt. And the gifts have gotten more extravagant. Expensive electronics that would never have been considered an option when I was young. (Then again, they weren’t invented yet.) And then there’s the gift card thing. So impersonal and yet better to give someone that than a gift they’ll never use, I suppose. But I hadn’t heard of female Santas. That’s a new one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      If we won’t have female Santas, the feminists would be out with their placards demanding them. Personally, I would like to have kinder Santas. The ones I remember were belting children up for misbehaving throughout the year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie Rubin Says:

        Yikes. No one likes a paddling Santa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        Getting a spanking from Santa was quite common in Germany in my youth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        My mum was more subtle than that, she used to blackmail us into doing the dishes otherwise she would tell Santa. There has been a bit of an uproar about ‘black Pieter’ in Holland. Some thought it was racists and a bad example. How I ever could believe a Santa going across roof tops on a horse and getting down a chimney is beyond belief.
        Even so, till this day I like doing the dishes. Can’t say the same for vacuming. At times I can be a bit of an iron man as well. But mainly at funerals, when my best shirt comes out and needs straightening.

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I don’t know how a paddling from female Santa would be experienced. Perhaps if the beard was taken off?

        Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, gifts are now all the go and some buy extra and stock up in case someone unexpected has given a gift, in which case a hurriedly wrapped gift can be given quickly back.

      Milo is just happy with a rubber piggy that squeals non stop every time he bites in it. When the TV is boring we prefer to watch him bite this piggy.
      The female Santas are already in place. They wear beards but the bulge below betrays this vile deception. Should I hop on a nice Santa too now? It is never too late.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carrie Rubin Says:

        I never go to the mall, but now I’ll have to just to see if there’s a Santa with lady bits!

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Perhaps male Santas are in place at clubs or other venues were people are known to each other but at malls the female has replaced the male. The Santa is there purely for commercial reasons to sell photos to the mums and also promote shopping at mall in general. A strange male with ruddy cheeks and flowing garb/beard is a step too far for most mums.
        When I was young there were no Santas. Just hand knitted socks hanging around.

        Like

  3. Dorothy brett Says:

    I was born 1939 in Manchester and can’t remember a Christmas tree, special dinner gifts of toys, although I do remember getting a bike when i must have been ten or eleven.
    But we all of us got a newly knitted lovely fair isle jumper and I can remember a sock with an orange and nuts in it, nothing else to remember tho.
    Maybe I’ve forgotten, a,tho I do re member other things about my early childhood quite clearly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yvonne Says:

      I remember the nuts and a mandarin orange on Christmas morning. (In those days the oranges went by the non-PC name of Jap oranges. I shan’t say what the Brazil nuts were called!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I never heard of nuts and an orange for Christmas. I suppose we all had our problems. Nuts is socks would look a bit rude. too close to part of the male genitalia and it might put the guests off their Christmas pudding…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    We, in Holland have St.Nicholas on the 5th of December where kids get presents. Christmas was more a period of sitting around he tree and sing songs, eat oil fried apple flaps or raisin balls, fondants, sweets and lots of food. The candles would be lit and we would all be struck by ‘Christmas feeling’. Going to mid-night Mass was an ordeal and it would last forever, and so boring for kids anyway.
    One year, the Christmas tree got on fire from a burning candle. Dad without a second to waste, opened the window and hurled the tinder dry but burning tree outside from three storeys up. The chooks down below got such a fright and were put off their eggs for weeks.
    Glad you got a nice jumper, Dorothy…
    The socks we got wasn’t much of a surprise seeing mum knitting them for weeks on end before. And even then the socks were often made from old jumpers that I had to hold my hands up to so mum could unravel and make into balls of wool.
    Now families have TV’s in each room, the kids Iphones, eat themselves sick on giant steaks or legs of pork, and then complain they are stressed!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Andrew Says:

    I doubt if we will have the energy for Christmas. The idea of shopping in crowds fills me with dread. If we have a tree it will be 8′ tall and real. Otherwise no deal. No female Santas please, we’re British.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yvonne Says:

    Oh, I remember the smell of Christmas so clearly! I also remember my wretched older brothers putting a lump of coal in my stocking. I wasn’t THAT bad!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      A lump of coal? Did your family suffer from coal shortages? I used to get newspapers put in between the blankets to stay warm.
      The beauty of poverty was that everyone was the same and sharing was common.
      Now, many people are so much better of and hoard.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Patti Kuche Says:

    But it’s still only November!!!

    (I have this happy space in my head when it comes to X-mas, it’s called denial.)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. auntyuta Says:

    I have some good childhood memories about the four Sundays of Advent. On each of these Sundays we would sit together around the “Adventskranz’ singing Christmas songs and having a drink and some ‘Pfefferkuchen (gingerbread” and Christmas Cake (Stollen).
    I published some of the Christmas songs in a blog last year. Just now I copied last year’s blog and also remembered a very bad Christmas Eve in 1946.

    http://auntyuta.com/2015/11/13/advent-and-christmas-eve/

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it was different then, Uta. I think my dad had an apron which would be taken out once a year at Christmas. He did the cooking then. In Holland it was the 5th of Dec that was sacrificed to present giving. A Spanish Bishop named St Nicholas and his black helper (Pieter) would go across rooftops on horseback and get into chimneys to give presents to kids who had been good, done the dishes, laid the table and made the beds.
      In Australia we had Christmas but the churches smelled of beer on Christmas eve. The priest being a bit unsteady on his feet. Giant moths would fly around and the heat was stifling. To make matters worse, there was no St Nicholas just a Father Chrismas who came from Finland and had reindeer instead of horses.

      It was then that I decided that religion was dodgy. We had never heard of Father Christmas from Finland. Not even in Finland.

      Now Christmas is celebrated at giant Malls and the Holy Night is sung by cash registers.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. stuartbramhall Says:

    New Plymouth is having their Santa parade on 28 Nov, and a group of us are going to sponsor a float highlighting the dangers of global warming and the Paris climate change conference.

    All this hype around Christmas is a distraction against the really devastating ecological crisis this planet faces.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. greenwritingroom.com Says:

    For several years my mother made boxes of sweets for presents. The kitchen was heaven and we made fondants and fudges and crystallised fruits and mint creams. The boxes were all lined with tiny paper cases and we filled the rows with a variety of colours and shapes. Everything home made, the boxes saved all year. I know it was a regretful post, but thank you for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, the memories are sustaining us more as years go by. We try and give our grand-kids something to remember when they get old and have always tried our best to make it a bit special.
    We both are good at making them laugh and appreciate the old fogeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rod Says:

    The whole thing is a commercial treadmill. The female Santa thing came as news to me. Maybe if it’s child abuse they’re worried about they could have female priests as well.

    Like

  13. gerard oosterman Says:

    Not a day goes by with more priests, teachers fronting up to the Royal commission in sexual abuse. Any day now a Santa might be called to the bench.
    As if there is not enough anxiety in the world.

    Like

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