Let me be clear, I don’t hate Mrs Windsor. I couldn’t care less about her. She has plenty of people to worry about the perfect weave and thread-count of her toilet silk. She doesn’t need me to like or dislike her. So, I’m indifferent to her and her entire family. But I loath her entitled Christmas Day intrusion. I despise the institution of the monarchy. It makes me sick to my stomach. This is the one part of Christmas Day that reminds me that I’m not the Christian I ought to be, but, then, the Christian that I am compels me to speak out against her arrogance. It’s a balancing act.
Every day across Scotland – and even in Ireland, England, and Wales – organisations like the Trussell Trust make sure that hungry people get something to eat. Foodbanks in community centres and parish halls are in operation every day of the year, come rain or shine, even on Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day.
Right now Syria strikes us as a place of terrible and horrible endings, a country rent asunder by the violence of war and unimaginable bloodshed. We have heard of a revolution gone wrong, internecine sectarian conflicts, the brutality of a despotic state, and powerful foreign intervention on every side.
Zuka, their other son who is in the throes of that developmental crisis known to every parent as the terrible twos, got a selection box. He tore this open immediately and sent Maltesers flying all over the room – exactly what I would have done if there were no rules.
We’re all familiar with the Christmas story with Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, angels, shepherds, inn keepers, and the lobster in the school Nativity play, but we have become less familiar with what the story is about.
However cringe-worthy all of this is, at some point we have to make our peace with it. Black Friday and the whole stinking mess that is Christmas is, after all, the logical end of a uniquely modern way of thinking.
So the cooking of the proverbial goose has been brought forward a few days. Just to add to the risk of breaking teeth on lead shot from the meat a doorway had to be removed so as to get a table (that had to be dismantled and re-assembled) from one room to another.
In all likelihood the Ho’din’ O’ Hogmanay predates the celebration of Christmas in Scotland. Believe it or not, Christmas is quite a new holiday in Scotland. It was only made a public holiday in 1958 and many places of work in the industrial south were still operational on the day well into the late 60s.