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Like snow in Winter in Canada, commercial crass Xmas is upon us again. I had to go to the grocery store early this morning for a small dinner party we are giving tonight. This being now officially December all the xmas commercial crap was out in full force. The grocery store is one of those superstores where you can buy household goods and groceries. They had lots of shiny decorations and things for that Xmas party you are dying to give for all your friends. Plates, cookie jars, lanterns in translucent green, red and gold, reindeers and Santa’s and god knows what else, because it is so much fun, you are just bursting at the seems with delirious anticipation. Not to forget the sorry looking half dead pointsettia for $20 dollars, wreaths and boughs for $50 dollars. Cookies loaded with chocolate, why is there chocolate in everything now? What ever happened to the simple cookie, you have to make your own I suppose. Any catered food is super expensive from $35. dollars upwards with no guarantee that it is good to taste. Have you notice how melted cheese and cream sauce with a jalapeno on top is now the rigueur in any dish, why I wonder. I also went to the Dollar Store, I know that my faithful readership will gasp at this admission on my part, but I do have a good excuse, I was looking for a cheap shoe horn at $1. Rest assured I never go there, ever, I am not lowering my standards. However while in the shop, there were aisle after aisle of the cheapest Xmas ornaments and paraphernalia to make virgins blush, including the holy Mother of God. None of those items on offer will last more than one year and you can see it all in the garbage bin on 26 December, how very sad.

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We have all our traditional decorations we accumulated for the last 39 years and each is special to us because of where we got them. Looking at them brings back memories of years long ago in this or that country. We may still buy from time to time something special we saw in a market to adorn our tree but this as become rarer with the years.

This year Hanukkah starts on 24 December and last until 1 January. We do not have any Jewish friends here on the Island, I do not believe there is a Jewish community either. But I think it is rather neat that the two holiday periods coincide in 2016.

Well let’s just think happy thoughts on an old fashion Christmas Season, no not a Victorian one, more like a Scandinavian one, a more European flavour to it all to counter the crass commercialism and the eternally unsatisfied kids who always want more junk.

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Noël by Gustave Doré, painter and illustrator.