THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM THE SHOW DELIVERED AT NEWCASTLE FOLK CLUB ON SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2018. [minus the ad libs and the songs]
Some people can’t wait for Christmas to arrive –it’s their favourite time of year .... others can’t wait for it to finish. There are those who find it emotionally exhausting and others just plain exhausting. There are those who sell their soul for the next year to BUY the fairytale Christmas this year.....and those who just don’t get the whole thing at all.
We’re bombarded with Hollywood movies to show us how it’s supposed to be done, complete with
- bauble-decorated trees cut down in their prime,
- sexy elves in skimpy see-thru costumes or
- big fat jolly blokes in santa suits magically squeezing down chimney’s
- extravagantly gift-wrapped presents sufficient to fill a jumbo jet
...AND...the perfect Christmas spread with sufficient food to feed the starving thousands for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert!!.........
We’re terrified that we’ve bought the right people the wrong presents and ticked off that we’re expected to buy the right present for the wrong people and people we don’t even like for 364 days of the year And when it’s our turn to open the presents that have been bought for us we get anxiety attacks in case our reaction isn’t as excited as expected – ..... We watch other people’s reaction as they open OUR gift to them - ‘do they like it? ...Have I spent enough?.... Will they think I’m a stingy bastard? .... Will they think I’m bragging cos I spent more money than they spent on mine?
No WONDER we have nightmares about the whole bloody thing! ....... BUT- Every Single One of Us – regardless of age, gender, financial position, belief, background, - every single one of us have 5 precious gifts in common and it’s worthwhile reiterating these gifts at this time of year.
GIFT NUMBER 1 .......Family....
now you might say, I don’t have any family (left) .... but consider this;
.....some families are born some are made and some are acquired ....what we might call a 'Tribe'
..... Some families and members are a blessing – others are a CHALLENGE ...
.... and just like in a tribe we don’t like/enjoy the company of every member of the tribe and so we become selective in who we share our time with but it takes a SERIOUS breech of rules/boundaries to make us eject them from the tribe
So FAMILY is a gift...treasure it......just like relationships, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all, you can create your own
GIFT NUMBER 2........Memories .........these are the treasures that we carry through life.....not all of them are happy BUT we get a choice and that in itself is a gift .... we can choose to let go of the bad memories and focus on the sweet ones, the ones that give us joy.
.....and the good thing is that while we’re still breathing we can still make more memories ..... the older we get, the more precious these memories become because they’re the footprints on our journey through life, they’re the Art Gallery in our mind , they’re the things that sustain us when our body starts to fail, and our friends start to die off,
GIFT NUMBER 3 ......Humanity ........Once Upon a Time, in the Lucky Country, we lived in a society where we made room for newcomers from foreign lands, even those who couldn’t speak our language, - we might have introduced them to the great Aussie game of ‘take the mickey’ but generally they were accepted......
....we lived in a society where we had compassion for those who were doing it real tough and we lent a hand.... and where we grieved for those in other countries who were experiencing hardship,
......we lived in a society where those with different beliefs, different cultures were allowed to live and let live as long as they didn’t try to convert us or take away our freedom to also live as we chose.....
.....and now, we may feel that the great god of Greed is converting our society to an inhumane, uncaring individualistic civilisation. And that can be scary .......
....HOWEVER, Humanity is defined as “the quality or condition of being human” .... and by it’s very nature begins within each one of us – it’s not someone else’s responsibility – it’s a precious gift that each one of us has, and ONE individual – like a pebble in a pond – CAN begin to spread the ripples of humanity which can become a tidal wave if each one of us exercises our gift .......it starts with one human being to another human being
GIFT NUMBER 4. .... Love ... we automatically think of romantic love , but *comes in many forms,
*spouse after the romance has gone! .....*parent/child + sibling ....*friend .........*animals ........*stuff .......*passion eg hobby: cooking fishing
....if it makes you happy and gives you something in return, it counts. BUT...y’ don’t have to have a partner to make you happy.....however Y’ DO have to give it out to get it back
......the price of LOVE is the pain of LOSS and it hurts when someone leaves /dies /moves on ...so whether the pain is pure grief or based in anger at their going or someone taking them, or disappointment get an illness and can’t follow you’re passion eg? ..accepting that it’s part of the cycle of life is the key to moving on and opening yourself up to the next love experience
#LOVE is a gift ....in all its forms....don’t turn your back on it, treat it as the precious gift it is, we need it in our lives – and when y’ can’t have what y’ love, love what y’ have
GIFT NUMBER 5 ....we’re all still breathing, so we’ve all got it! It’s the gift of Life/and for those of us in this country we get a bonus buy on this one, the GIFT OF Freedom
if you’re over 60 – you have the ADDED bonus of LONG LIFE – and that’s a gift that far too many of us humans didn’t get, so be thankful......if you’re a young chicken or you’re in a mid life crisis – take heart, with a bit of luck you’ll get the long life blessing too - ..BUT of course if you’re a bloody misery guts in your middle years, however long you’ve got it’s gonna feel like an eternity – especially to those that’ve gotta live with you.......be kind to yourself and those around you - we're all sharing this journey of life.