Category Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all

Naughty SantaIT’S CHRISTMAAAAASSSSS!!!

As we prepare to sit down to our festive meal, I’d like to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year – let’s hope it’s not an unlucky number for all of us and Santa left you  something nice in your stocking!!!

Eat, drink and be merry – but everything in moderation of course!

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The answer is blowing in the wind!

sprout2So the annual sprout-eating ritual approaches.   Every Christmas, this one vegetable divides opinion – some of us love them, some of us hate them, but eating them can have some, er, embarrassing consequences…

Sprouts, along with onions, beans and dairy products, are hard to digest in the stomach and small intestine because our bodies can’t produce the enzymes needed to break down some of the chemical components they contain.

However, the presence of flatulence seems to be the least of our worries!

Last Christmas, a man from Ayrshire was hospitalised after eating too many Brussels sprouts!  The reason?  Well this controversial vegetable contains Vitamin K, a chemical the body uses to promote blood clotting and while it does this, it also counteracts anticoagulants (used in blood-thinning medication).

sproutsThis poor man was prescribed  anticoagulants after suffering heart failure in 2011, and his dose was monitored  weekly to prevent blood clotting.  However, when his blood started to clot  close to Christmas last year and he was admitted to Hospital, the doctors could not  understand why his medication was not keeping his blood thin until he told them  he’d been eating lots of sprouts!

So there’s your excuse … if you don’t want to eat sprouts with your festive turkey, instead of saying you don’t like them, just tell your host that they’re bad for your health!!!

Not Santa’s Grotto … but the Pope’s Grotto!

Popes GrottoThere used to be a pub in Twickenham called the Pope’s Grotto.  About 100 yards from where I lived, it played a huge part in my life since the age of 17 until I moved to Glasgow in 1996.  I met my ex-husband there (probably best to skip over that!) and it is somewhere I will always find someone I know, even to this day!

In recent years it has been transformed from a friendly local pub to a modern hotel, now called the Alexander Pope, with a reputation for good food and a family friendly atmosphere.  It just isn’t the same but this picture, taken c.1981, is just how I remember it!  One main memory that stands out for me is that it was THE place to be during the power cuts in the 1970’s.  Instead of sitting at home in the dark, people flocked to the pub in their droves where candles provided the lighting and there was a “blitz type” spirit and atmosphere that seemed somehow magical.   I also remember it was a meeting place for many on Christmas lunchtime – the chance to catch up with friends before heading home for the obligatory turkey dinner!

Happy memories indeed.  I hardly recognise the place these days but one of my customer’s has asked me to write a piece on their blog about a job they’ve just done there which made me very nostalgic for those simpler, happier times!

Not Santa’s Grotto … but the Pope’s Grotto!.

Don’t drink and drive

With just 7 sleeps to go before Santa makes his annual visit, it is probably a good time to give him a gentle reminder to take milk instead of sherry at all the millions of homes he’s getting ready to visit.  It wouldn’t do to be caught drunk in charge of a sleigh now would it?!?

christmas collage

PS.  If you ate Rudolph’s carrot instead of all those mince pies you’d shift some of that weight off your belly too!!!

Jesus v Santa

Santa and JesusAs if to prove that the commercialisation of Christmas has definitely moved a step too far, a recent survey has found that many people struggle with the storyline of the birth of baby Jesus.  Over 2,000 children and parents were polled on behalf of the Bible Society about their nativity play knowledge, and the results  showed some major holes in the story.   Here are just some of the hilarious results:

  • A majority of Britons appear to be unaware that Jesus was born out-of-wedlock
  • Only 26% knew that Mary and Joseph were betrothed
  • 2% thought Mary and Joseph were ‘on their first date’ when they found out she was pregnant
  • A further 37 people thought Santa Claus was the first person to visit baby Jesus
  • A majority believed he was sleeping in a Moses basket, not a manger

We hear a lot about “the war on Christmas”, but the true seasonal struggle is the war within Christmas, a single holiday shared by two deeply antagonistic religions.

bithday wish 1Religion 1 is the religion of Jesus Christ, the figure whose birth the holiday commemorates. This religion emphasises universal grace and forgiveness.

Religion 2 is the religion of Santa Claus, the holiday’s most visible representative. Santa upholds a much sterner creed: “You better watch out / You better not cry / Better not pout / I’m telling you why / Santa Claus is coming to town / He’s making a list / And checking it twice / Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice …”

So even though Christmas began as a celebration dedicated to Jesus, this holiday has become increasingly commercial, most people being more interested in gifts and parties than the religious side of this holiday. Although they are tied to the same day, December 25th, Santa Claus and Jesus’ birth don’t have much in common, because each one promotes other values.

santa elves reindeerIt’s funny how many people teach their kids all about Jesus and God (something that can’t be proven), while there are others that wait to introduce ideas of faith and religion to their kids when they’re old enough to decide for themselves (very enlightened!) .   And then there are those who have had no problem telling their kids about a fat guy sliding down the chimney with a sack full of gifts and eating the cookies and milk, his elves, flying reindeer, and somehow doing this at midnight in every home all around the world (WTF?).

It truly is a time of year when there is something for everyone it seems!  So, whatever you believe, a very Merry Christmas to one and all!!!

Seasonal humour …

As we approach the festive season, a topical joke for you …..

A group of chess enthusiasts were kicked out of a hotel reception for discussing their winning games ……… The Manager can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.   BOOM!!!

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Holy hashtag!

The big news of the day seems to be the fact that Pope Benedict XVI has joined Twitter, although he won’t be sending his first tweet until 12th December – just in time for the Christmas messages I presume?!

Using the handle @pontifex, I am sure he won’t be sending the tweets himself [there’ll be a man for that in his entourage of course] but I’m probably not the only person who’d really enjoy seeing him bring out his Blackberry or iPad from underneath his cassock during an open air Mass!

Pope on Twitter

Poor Rudolph

Is it me, or does the Christmas fanfare start earlier and earlier each year?

It is still only early November, but casually strolling along Argyll Street in Glasgow yesterday I came across this rather lonely (enormous!) reindeer, stationed outside Debenhams Department Store and the St Enoch Centre.  Is he waiting for the stores to provide the presents, and will Santa be along soon to take him on his journey around the world to deliver them?  Maybe I’ll pop along on 24th December to check – he’s looking a little sad there at the moment!

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