Red letter day?

As the local supermarket has seen fit to start selling Christmas stuff already and someone-who-shall-remain-nameless has graciously shared the latest virulent bug with me, I thought I could do worse than to update a letter written in August three years ago…

deer day 089Dear Father Christmas,

I know, I know, I haven’t written to you in a very long time and it is only August.

Having said that, you are aware that your jolly red image is already being touted in the shops? I understand that with the global population having pretty much doubled in the last 50 years or so the time and motion studies would be pretty hot on you getting an early start, and the risk assessments have to be a nightmare with the aircraft and other stuff we regularly send flying through the skies. Missiles and the like. Now if you could do something about those….

Not to mention the working conditions of Rudolph and co. The red tape and constraints on their delivery service must be enough to turn your hair white. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see you having to mechanise. Which, I imagine, wouldn’t please the elves any more than the eco-warriors; having giant gadget factories at the North Pole just isn’t going to cut it environmentally.

Frankly, though, it does look rather as if that nebulous ‘they’ are trying to devalue your services completely. Redundancy and early retirement come too readily to ‘their’ pens these days. I suppose by corporatising the whole affair and replacing the oranges, footballs and granny’s hand knitted sweater that ‘you will grow into’ with technological gadgets, the entire emphasis of Christmas can be neatly shifted away from family, love and belief to crass commercialism in a generation or two without anyone being the wiser.

deer day 029

Suddenly it is all about what you get and how much instead of what a gift means and the spirit in which it is given. Stress takes all the joy out of it in the weeks before the Event for parents who feel duty bound to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and even in my village streets there are the inevitable light wars between neighbours. Nothing wrong with starlight in my humble opinion. It seems a little odd when everything else has to fit in with the current ideas that we suddenly ignore power saving completely…

Mind you, if you should happen to call at my place, I can promise you there will be none of this healthy eating lark at least… proper homemade mince pies, or a slab of fruit cake and cheese and a glass of something suitably warming will await as always… and nibbles for the reindeer, of course. It will probably just be the dog and me, so make yourself at home. I guess I shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve no doubt you already know that I still listen for you, even now… I know, daft, isn’t it? But if you can’t be a child at Christmas you might as well give up.

I suppose even you are not exempt from progress though. You have evolved and adapted to the changing currents of the world and its various cultures over the centuries. I happen to know you didn’t start out as a jolly fat man with a beard and a sleigh. But maybe that is a more comfortable image for us than, say, Odin Langbarðr and the Wild Hunt, and maybe a team of reindeer is less disquieting than eight legged Sleipnir. Not that much difference between the winter solstice and the current December date though.

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The gifts were always part of it though, weren’t they? Though I have to wonder if the gifts given by a god would have had brand names and logos… But the gifts of a god are given to fill need, not want… so I am in your hands for that.

With that in mind, I suppose I ought to go through my Christmas list but really, I can’t think of a thing that I want for myself. Oh, there are the abstract wishes like a job up north and the pipe dream of a cottage on the moors or a camper van to go travelling, but I only have small feet and they would never fit in my stocking. Just a new tennis ball for Ani who has been mourning the loss of a favourite one.

While I think on, can I just thank you for all the centuries of service, for all the joy you have given small children who delight in your magic and mystery and perhaps if I could have just one wish it would be to wake on Christmas morning with the heart and eyes of a child again.

With Love,

Sue x

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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51 Responses to Red letter day?

  1. I wonder what Hogfather would say about all this super early Christmas? I’m not even a Christian and I find it very irritating. They take a lot of the joy out of the season by stretching it like this. The thousandth time you’ve heard “Jingle Bells Rock” can bring out the “bah, humbug” in all of us.

    It has been a long time since getting presents was important to me, but I enjoyed giving them if I could find something special for someone I like. These days, everyone has what they need and I can’t afford the expensive stuff, so we have to settle for warmest greetings and one very good dinner. But NOT in AUGUST. Good grief!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I agree, Marilyn… the very fact that Christmas is not just a holiday but is a holy-day for so many people seems to have been forgotten by those intent on making money from it.

      Like

  2. I have to admit I begin looking for that special gift for the people on my list rather early but I do not and I repeat do not need to see aisle full of Christmas stuff in August. You know I remember complaining when they put stuff out right after Samhain now we don’t even make it to Mabon. I love the season and but I am not in any way ready to meet it eye to eye yet.

    Like

  3. tric says:

    Hope your feeling better. The mere thought of seeing Christmas in shops is enough to make me ill.
    I do adore the season though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    If you are going to mention the word CHRISTMAS in August you had better have a very good excuse… and here is one. Sue and her letter to Santa that is worth reading before we start writing our gifts list this year. Personally I don’t need anything else to dust, wear, communicate with and the older you get the tougher. This will be the official first Christmas in our new home as we were away last year. That for me is a gift and spending it with David is the other. How about you? Head over and read Sue’s letter and chip in for a new ball for Ani. #recommended

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think the sale of festive Christmare fayre should be restricted until at least after Halloween. It’s ridiculous for stuff to go on sale now, kids will start to pester their already harassed and strap cashed parents for gifts which will be of little if any remaining interest come December. For me, the magic of Christmas was always the month of December itself. Today it’s just money grabbing, credit, or overdrafts, and Ho Ho Ho for the shareholders.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:
    August is not yet over, and Christmas is on the cards……….. I mean shelves.
    It’s too early!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged as food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was recently stunned to see Halloween decorations already, but Christmas? Even though I am a certifiable Christmas Elf, ever-eager, Christmas merchandising in August is a bit too soon even for me!

    However, if it inspired this lovely post I’m all for it! Wonderful read to send me to bed dreaming of reindeer hooves and sleigh bells. Great letter.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What about the 365 days a year Christmas shops?

    Like

  10. memadtwo says:

    We were just complaining about the Halloween costume pop-up opening in August…August??!!
    luckily Santa hasn’t shown up here yet. 9K)

    Like

  11. The Satyr says:

    Hee hee, made me smile, made me think. Wonderful letter. I’m sure Santa would pin that up somewhere above the fireplace and it would remain there for years to come. X

    Like

  12. I’m on old stickler for holidays happening in proper order, Sue. Christmas stuff in August just doesn’t work for me. First, we need Halloween and Thanksgiving. Tha’s probably why I’m always late on my shopping and running around like a chicken for the entire autumn season. *Sigh*

    Like

  13. Wonderful last sentence. Shame Christmas is spoiled by commercialism, I think, Sue.xx

    Like

  14. willowdot21 says:

    It gets painfully earlier every year!! I get annoyed, thought there is no point when Mamon is God! Nothing to do with Santa or the real meaning meaning of Christmas. If anyone remembers what that is ? ( I know you do) 🤔💜

    Like

  15. Widdershins says:

    May your virulent bug die a swift death. Mine, unfortunately still thinks it has a chance. I intend to prevail. 🙂

    Like

  16. dgkaye says:

    This was beautiful Sue. I always say to my friends, when it’s September it’s almost Christmas. ❤

    Like

  17. Lovely, Sue. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

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