My stepfamily – my brother, brother’s wife, and her kids (which he adopted) – have many wonderful qualities, but organisation is not one of Axolotl Mom Mother Retro Shirt Cute Axolotl Kids T Shirt. Even when I was 15 my brother (18 years older than me) would call me, panicking, on Christmas Eve, wanting me to come shopping and help pick out stuff for his girlfriend. Now that he’s married and in his fifties, he no longer calls me for shopping help, but I expect he still leaves a lot of it till Christmas Eve. This year I’ve been texting him and my niece since September, asking what to get for my nephew and his partner (who I don’t know that well, and I’ve never met his partner), my niece’s partner (ditto), and five kids (I was never an average kid and have no idea what to buy children, as shown by a couple years ago, when I bought the 3-year-old a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia, and then was startled when I was gently told that 3-year-olds can’t read. I taught myself to read with Enid Blyton at 3, and my dad gave me Narnia by the end of that year, but apparently this is not the norm).
In 1840, Prince Albert started importing several Norway spruce from his native Coburg each Christmas. This is when the Axolotl Mom Mother Retro Shirt Cute Axolotl Kids T Shirt learned of the tradition and began to copy it. The first one had candles, blown glass ornaments from Germany, gingerbread, sweets, almonds and raisins, toys and wax dolls. Pictures and descriptions were in all the major periodicals for the next ten years. By 1860, most well off families had a tree in their parlor or hall. The gifts were still on the tree with candles. The Norway spruce was the preferred tree. For the English Victorians of the upper middle classes, a good Christmas tree had to be six branches tall and be placed on a table covered with a white damask tablecloth. It was decorated with garlands, candies and paper flowers. Ladies made Christmas Crafts to put on the tree. They quilled (a paper craft) snowflakes and stars. They sewing little pouches for secret gifts and paper baskets with sugared almonds in them. Small bead decorations, fine drawn out silver tinsel came from Germany. Angels fro Germany were popular to sit at the top of the tree. Candles were often placed into wooden hoops for safety. Other decorations included apples, nuts, cookies, and colored popcorn. Glass ornaments were being imported into Britain from Lauscha, in Thuringia, by the 1870’s. It became a status symbol to have glass ornaments on the tree.
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Jesus of Nazareth was not born on December 25. If there is any truth in the part of the Axolotl Mom Mother Retro Shirt Cute Axolotl Kids T Shirt about shepherds watching over their flocks by night, the only time shepherds do that is in lambing season—late March and early April in that part of the world. Jesus was an Aries. Early Christian missionaries made work easier for themselves by appropriating dates, places and even ritual forms from older Pagan faiths. The date of Christmas is only one of many, many examples. Easter, in fact, is the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. How do you suppose they came up with that one? (I’ll give you a clue: the word “Easter” comes from the name “Ostara,” a Pagan Germanic Goddess of the dawn.) Later edit: If you are a Christian, don’t let this information dissuade you from celebrating Christmas, which is a joyful and generous time. Your savior, like the Queen of England, has a birthday to celebrate, and the date you pick doesn’t matter. Lots of religions have the impulse to celebrate the coming of hope and new light in the dead of winter, so this one works fine. As a fellow-Pagan once remarked at Christmas, “The main difference between Pagans and Christians is that the Christians think it only happened once.
Just for context, I come from a Axolotl Mom Mother Retro Shirt Cute Axolotl Kids T Shirt that takes Christmas very seriously. We’re not religious; for us it’s just a time to get the whole family together and eat too much and drink too much. But as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realise that we approach it with far more enthusiasm than most. I shall be very sad if we’re not able to do our usual Christmas. But I shall be no less sad than many British Jews were back in April, when they had to celebrate Passover in lockdown, or British Sikhs, who celebrated Vaisakhi the same month. I’ll be no less sad than British Muslims were back in May, when they had to do Eid in lockdown, or than British Hindus were on Saturday when they had to do Diwali in lockdown. Why does my cultural celebration take precedence over theirs? Why are the government being so careful to ensure we are not locked down over Christmas when they evidently didn’t give a stuff whether we were locked down over all the above festivals? These are questions worth asking, and it’s a journalist’s job to ask them. The answer may well turn out to be that all of Johnson’s comforting nonsense about being out of lockdown in time for Christmas was just that, and the reality is that he put another lockdown off until he was forced into it. Or it might be that he made a cynical political calculation and determined that he could afford to piss off religious minorities, but couldn’t afford to piss off the majority.
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