Well, here we are: Christmas. Finally! So first of all, let me do a very British thing and say "Happy Christmas" to everyone.
Have you ever wondered why, in America, we say "Merry Christmas," but for every other holiday we use the word happy? Happy Easter, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy New Year, Happy Fourth. I wonder why that is? And we don't say "merry" for any other purpose. Aside from "Merry Christmas," the word has practically disappeared from the language.
In Britain, my impression is that "Happy Christmas" used to be more common, but I see and hear "merry" quite a bit too. (Like on the sign above.)
Anyway, it's all a mystery.
This morning, Dave and I are up early to start cooking. We have guests coming -- my high school friend Kevin and his husband Brent, who are visiting from the states, and Kevin's friend Michelle and her husband Rob, who live here. A full house!
Yesterday Olga and I took a walk up to the Clitterhouse Playing Fields, which were pretty much deserted on Christmas Eve afternoon. I did see one guy wearing a Santa hat and walking a staffy of his own. "Relatives!" I said as I walked past with Olga. He smiled but I'm not sure he knew what I was getting at.
Last night I subjected Dave to a series of vintage Rankin/Bass Christmas TV specials, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman" and "The Little Drummer Boy." I bet I haven't seen that last one since I was a kid. They were tedious and entertaining and embarrassing all at the same time. "Rudolph," especially, is quite insistent on reinforcing traditional gender roles -- but it was made in 1964, so I guess I can't expect too much. At least it celebrated individuality and nonconformity, within certain comfortable boundaries.
Anyway, it seemed like the kind of television we ought to be watching on Christmas Eve.
(Top photo: Homemade Christmas decorations in a local front garden. I think that snowman's nose lights up -- he's like a Rudolph/Frosty hybrid!)