A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas in Thailand

A lot of water has flown down the Chao Phraya since I last wrote a post.It doesn’t mean that I didn’t think about writing but I was experiencing so many different things,meeting interesting people and feeling a little like a Thai. No news is good news.

With the help of new friends I was lucky enough to get to know Thailand a little,from the side that the average tourist doesn’t see, and learn to love it for all it’s faults.

We Westerners mustn’t come to Thailand and try and teach them our ways,we must accept how the East is, and not try and change it, with time they will teach themselves. In so many things they are light years ahead of us and we could learn from them.

Today I saw my first Christmas tree outside the next shopping Mall.

Tall,and plastic and blue.

The Thai of course don’t celebrate Christmas.

It was for us.

Khob Kuhn Ka

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Christmas Wishes

I wanted to write an interesting, half way intelligent,thoughtful post about Christmas,but somehow the right words won’t come to mind.Probably because my mind is already full of unnecessary but unnerving things that are all fighting to get the upper hand in their game to make me forget the real meaning of Christmas.
This year I don’t really have any reason to forget because the only planning I have to do is to see that we have enough appropriate clothes to survive a Canadian winter for three weeks,but until we are actually sitting at the airport gate I know there will be no way to stop my thoughts wavering.

I have made and we have eaten the mince pies,they don’t have them in Canada.I have bought the obligatory chocolate,and enough cat food to feed the cat,who will have to spend Christmas by himself for once.There are a couple of presents still to buy, maybe I’ll find something at the airport. Last minute washing has been done and now I just have to see that everything fits into the cases and that they are not over the weight limit. The taxi has been ordered and now I just have to wish you all lot’s of luck in remembering in the hectic what we are all celebrating.

The gift of love,the gift of peace,the gift of happiness,may these be yours at Christmas.

Present giving is a risky business

The shopping malls are getting more and more crowded,and we might already think twice about entering one if it were not for the fact that we now have only twenty one days to Christmas.

What are all these people doing? A few of them are buying food, some of them are looking for clothes, and the rest are searching frantically for the fitting present.

Some clever beings started making things last Summer and I’m sure these self made gifts are the most widely appreciated. There is nothing to criticise in something that has taken a person precious time and thought,even if you wouldn’t be seen dead in Aunt Louises’ knitted socks,or blow your nose in a lace edged handkerchief.

Why do we then bother to give presents,if it is always an extremely risky business.?

Helmuth Berking,Professor of Sociology at the University of Darmstadt in Germany has been scientifically examining the theme “Present Giving” for many years. His book Shenken.Zur Anthropologie des Gebens, published by the Campus-Verlag,Frankfurt. is a standard work on the phenomenon.
Professor Berking sees present giving as pure ambivalence.With it we can express a number of feelings- Love, Trust,Hate, Sympathy,Empathy and Aggression. But as giver we can never change the fact that the receiver will give a completely new interpretation to the situation.

Present giving he thinks is positive,but as it is a high risk procedure, but certain rituals are held, for example,by disappointment we show good manners and at least act as if we were thrilled.

Giving can also be an important form of “Impression Management” I make a picture of myself and a picture of you,and the two must fit together. Risky but exciting.

Why do we bother then if it is such a risk. Because it is an everyday thing,but totally underrated.

Why? Because it is the key to an enormous area of social relationships.

Do we give presents for personal gain? Berking thinks that is the core of it. We live in a society where economic profit and rational behaviour is the central interpretation pattern. Present giving is really an economical stupidity, but we also live in a culture of mistrust that has to do with the economising of our society. It misuses the economy of present giving and symbolic importance. We live with the idea “Buy one get one free” and are forever asking ourselves ” If he gives me something what does he want from me”.

What have badly chosen gifts for consequences? Obviously if Mr Smith gives his wife perfume for Christmas ten years in a row,then Ms Smith should seriously wonder what is wrong with their marriage.

Women do give differently. Age plays a role too. Men also give very much with a goal in mind,especially when it comes to conquering someone of the opposite sex.

Presents usually turn out to be something unnecessary that lie around for years, but later when found are feelings to be touched,even remembrances to be touched.
Here lies their real importance.

2007. Are you sitting comfortably?

So we have all made it , I hope ,well into the second week in January

8 January2007.Christmas tree collection.

Today I was really reminded that the holiday’s were over because the side of the roads  in the housing areas here were lined by sad  discarded Christmas trees, their needles in various stages of  dehydration.On some, bits of tinsel were hanging on like shipwrecked sailors might hang on to pieces of flotsam. Their glory faded and like us all in this New Year awaiting a future that cannot be forseen.

I wish you all good luck in 2007

” Are you sitting comfortably?Then I’ll begin”

Julia Lang 1921-    Listen with Mother.  BBC radio programme for children 1950-1982

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