Pheasant

Yuletide
pheasant visiting.
Will he stay
when the shooting season
ends?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Around about the time of the Solstice a cock pheasant appeared in our garden and he has been visiting almost every day since – I think he has only missed two days. The first day he appeared I put out some seed which he gobbled up greedily so I re-filled his supply and he gobbled that up too. I’m guessing he has strayed from the fields up the road to avoid the shooting and wonder if he will return home once the shooting season finishes in a few days from now. Meanwhile I’m going away tomorrow for a long weekend on our boat so have given my youngest son, who will be holding the fort, instructions to look out for him and make sure he has food. Interestingly a second cock pheasant turned up the other day but my resident friend soon saw him off!

Advertisements

Season’s Greetings

Season's Greetings

As usual I am taking a break over the Christmas period so this will be my last post until the New Year but I couldn’t depart without wishing you all the joys of the season.

Apparently, so we are told, to say ‘Merry Christmas’ can be offensive to those for whom it doesn’t accord with their own religious or non-religious view. I tend to feel this is quite untrue, but here in the UK we do try to bend over backwards not to offend those of other religious views. I am sure that most reasonable people are just as happy for us to recognise our own traditions as they do their own. These days Christmas has, for most, become a very commercial concern anyway, with very little to do with religion at all.

The ‘Nativity’ has been side-lined, despite the name Christians give to the season being Christ-mas. However this is a country based on the Christian ideals and even if we are not regular church goers, those ideals are none-the-less a great moral code to live by. What’s wrong with a good seasonal story about a baby (the son/sun) born into poverty but destined to bring ‘light’ into the world? Besides, I confess that hearing young children singing ‘Away in a Manger’ always brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.

In order not to cause offence some people have decided that the Christmas season should simply be called ‘Winter Festival’ and people should say ‘Happy Holidays’ as a cover-all, but to me these are all too vague. Mid-winter Festival might be more accurate and mankind has always held festivals at this time of the year, to celebrate the winter solstice – when the year turns and the sun (or son to Christians) returns, bringing light back into the world. As for ‘Happy Holidays’ – for me this is utterly meaningless. It could just as easily apply to our summer break or a holiday at any other period of the year. It is non-specific, vague and sounds insincere and bland.

In the past the season has been called ‘Yuletide’ – a name which due to its Pagan association has now been  phased out from mainstream awareness and yet to the Scandinavians ‘Jul’ is the word they use for Christmas. I miss the Christmas cards we used to see when I was a child which were just as likely to say ‘Yuletide Greetings’ as ‘Christmas Greetings’. This is the term I favour for the season, I like traditions, I like to keep these things going, also it recognises our northern heritage.

But even ‘Yuletide Greetings’ may be considered ‘offensive’ to those of other traditions (and some Christians), or so we are led to believe. So the problem remains; what term can we use that is potentially least offensive to the greatest numbers of people. I have settled on a phrase that says exactly what it is – Season’s Greetings to one and all! See you in the New Year.

Seaonal Banner

Revelry

Take down the holly and the tree,
put lights and tinsel back in store.
It’s time to end our revelry
till Yuletide circles round once more.

Site content copyright of Elizabeth Leaper (Libby).

Supporting the Printed Word

Read the Printed Word!