Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Gifts, visits and good intentions.
As I've said before, Christmas is not a happy time for me, but I try not to let other people know how I feel, and just hope they won't ask me a straight question, face-to-face.
I can't look someone in the eye and lie, so avoiding the "what are you doing for Christmas"? question has become a well-honed skill.
Yesterday, I had a visit from a kindly, well-meaning fellow, an almoner from my late husband's lodge. (He was a freemason and a member of two lodges). This man had come from the lodge with a gift of expensive chocolates and a pot-plant in a basket plus a lovely card for me.
When I protested that I "wished they wouldn't", while thanking him profusely for his kindness, he seemed at a loss to understand why.
It is difficult not to sound ungracious and I hope I managed, but, I really do wish they wouldn't.
I am not and never will be an admirer of freemasonry and find the avuncular attitude of its members to the 'widows' of their late members, patronising and squirm-making.
While I appreciate the kindness of the thought, I'd prefer it to stay just that, a thought.
Today, my middle brother (of three) came to see me. The first time since John's funeral on 25th August 2009. He had come to bring me a gift from his son and himself. It is an Ipad 2. Wonderful I can hear you say, and so it undoubtedly is. Also extremely generous, but since neither he nor I were sufficiently clued up technically to get the thing up and running, it is at present residing in all its pristine glory in its box, where it will remain until I can find someone who can at least set it up for me so I can attempt to make use of it.
Years ago my mother who knew me better than anyone before or since, said "from now on every birthday and Christmas you will get a cheque, no-one could ever buy the right thing for you".
This is not really because I'm hard to please, I'm not, a spray of freesias from the local market would make my day, but I am not acquisitive or materialistic and don't need 'things'.
By the same token, my great nieces and nephews also get money with instructions to their parents to buy them some little thing they really want.
This is not laziness just that I hate waste, and so many Christmas gifts wind up being passed on to someone else that it is surely better to let the recipient choose.
As for visits, anyone who comes to my door empty-handed will be welcomed in for coffee and or a drink, but woe betide he or she who comes bearing gifts.
Signed Ebenezer Scrooge,