9 Dec 2010


Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. Except I always sang colly birds until aged 17 or so Husband dearest pointed out I'd actually been singing the wrong words all those years

Please excuse another post of newspaper articles, I just couldn't resist bringing you all these Christmas based stories.

Bad news for incurable romantics wishing to offer their true loves the 12 days of Christmas gifts mentioned in the TRADITIONAL SONG - an online banking service reckons the price has gone up by more than 10% over last year.
The cost of the assorted flocks of turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, geese-a-laying and swans a swimming (what a mess they made) has risen steeply because of the soaring cost of food; the five gold rings are up 30% because of the price f gold and entertainment hire costs are also up, which presumably affects the price of pipers piping (far too noisy anyway) and drummers drumming. - Stephen Bates, the Guardian (30/11/2010)

And talking of traditional ......

We are all used to the traditional Christmas card picture of a jolly fat Santa Claus (Father Christmas if you want to be traditionally English about it) and his busy little helpers, but university students are taking part in a celebration with a very different image at its centre to remember 'SINTERKLAAS'
Instead of elves hailing from Santa's workshop in the North Pole, Sinterklaas will be accompanied by assistants dressed up as ZWARTE PIET (Black Pete), who will be white students in medieval dress with their faces blacked up, wearing Afro wigs.
(The problem being?) Mina Kasherova, the Student's Union International Officer said "It is not acceptable for one country's traditions to be celebrated at the expense of offending a large group of our students.
"Blacking up based on mimicking colonialism is racist and has no place on our campus." - The Daily Telegraph (04/12/2010)

So what do you think - innocent, harmless fun celebrating an ancient custom OR it's racist and shouldn't be allowed?

Of course it is not only Holland and Belgium who have their own traditions, their own Father Christmas as it were. Germany, amongst other countries, has the DAS CHRIST KIND whilst these COUNTRIES CELEBRATE THESE TRADITIONS.

I, of course, mention Germany as as many of you know I love the idea of the Christmas festivities in this part of the world and of course ...

Britain has been copying Teutonic Christmas traditions ever since Prince Albert came home from a holiday in Germany in 1841 with a Christmas tree in his luggage.
But this year Anglo-German relations have reached a new high as towns up and down the country have sprouted German themed markets - some more than one - in the run up to Christmas (though in some instances) certain aspects of the market have been adapted for British tastes. - Helen Pidd, the Guardian (04/12/2010) (READ MORE)

And to end with ......
A great take on a very modern KRIS KRINGLE courtesy of Christina @ Write Brained.
My favourite Christmas video so far this year.


PS. I hope you have been opening the advent calendar at the top of the page - but only one day at a time. AND
If you didn't get to see last year's Christmas song, scroll down to the bottom of my blog and be sure to watch Dominick The Donkey.


Christina Lee said...

Colly birds?!?!? Very funny!

Patti said...

I always enjoy your newspaper stories.

Kelly said...

Such a cute clip! You know I'm a sucker for anything with dogs.

Yes...I'm clicking on the calendar every day (and not peeking ahead!) and enjoying it.

Your question? Well...sometimes I think people get overly sensitive in their reactions, especially when things are not done in a malicious or harmful manner. Of course I don't condone racism or making fun in a mean-spirited way, but I think some folks just look for a way to be offended. That said, I tend to be a peace-maker and hate to hurt anyone's feelings, intentionally or otherwise.

Alison said...

Cool post! I love anything related to Christmas...especially wacky/weird Xmas traditions.

Melissa Gill said...

I love the colly birds. I could go on forever about the gaffs I've made with song lyrics.

As for Christmas traditions. I guess I feel that if things like the Zwart Piet were done in a condescending/demeaning way when they started, that they should be abandoned and replaced with new traditions.

Minstral shows in the US were thought of as harmless fun, but they made fun of people whose behavior was imposed on them by the system in which they were forced to live. I feel like we should recognize that as an unfortunate and less enlightened time, and evolve/create new traditions to reflect our heightened understanding.

Marinela said...

Always your newspaper stories are interested, Petty.
Take care
Marinela x

The Golden Eagle said...

I don't remember where it was, but apparently at one point you could actually have all those gifts delivered . . . on all of their respective 12 days.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...


I love it when we sing the wrong words forever and then find out what the true words are! You aren't alone. I think I thought it was collie birds when I was young. ;)

purplume said...

Great post. I love the video and put it on my facebook page.

Jenners said...

I think it is hilarious to think of someone actually giving (or trying to give) the gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas. I couldn't even imagine.

chitra said...

That clip is beautiful.They are trained very well. I clicked the calender too. I remember last year also you had a Christmas calender.

Have a Good day.

Bad Alice said...

Aww, that Advent Calendar is cute. I agree with Melissa Gill about the traditions. I'm from the US South, and black face here would be considered highly and deliberately offensive, no matter how many (white people) called it "harmless fun."

GMR said...

Goodness...who knew the holidays could be so traditional AND controversial? O_O (Oh and Dominic the Donkey is too much fun! Just heard that song for the first time last year...love it...)