Christmas and New Year 2021/22 – What Can You Expect On Hugh’s Views And News?

I’m taking the festive and holiday season’s opportunity to take a semi-break from the blogging world.

Why a semi-blogging break?

As a blogger who dislikes not responding to comments, I will be answering comments left on any of my blog posts or pages over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Will I be visiting blogs, reading posts and leaving comments?

Probably not. In the seven years I’ve been blogging, I’ve always found this time of year to be tranquil in the blogging world. It’s an excellent time to do some blog housekeeping and tidy up the blog. 

When will my next blog post be published?

My monthly round-up post for December will be published on December 31st 2021.

My first post of 2022 is scheduled to be published on January 3rd 2022.

While I’m away

If you missed my blogging post, ‘Looking For Help With Blogging? Do You Have Any Questions About Blogging?‘ you can still leave questions for me by clicking here. All questions about blogging are welcome. And don’t forget to leave a link to your blog when leaving your questions.

Have you ever had a character you’ve made up actually help you out? I have a new blog post – How To Pull Yourself Out Of A Writing Hole With A Little Help From Your Characters – over on my column at the Carrot Ranch. Be careful what you write about because it could come true.

Don’t forget about Bloganuary 

If you haven’t heard the news, WordPress is running Bloganuary during the whole month of January.

By participating in Bloganuary, you’ll get access to the Bloganuary community site, where you can meet and get to know others working toward similar blogging goals. You can share tips, learn from others, reach a new audience for your blog, and make some new blogging friends. Click here for more details.

Don’t forget that you can also find me on social media. Click on any of the buttons below.

 

A Christmas card showing the face of Santa, a Christmas tree and a Christmas message from Hugh
Christmas 2021

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Last Christmas

December 25th, 2024. 05:17

‘Thank goodness you ate all the carrots, Rudolph and guided me around Earth. We’ve just made the final delivery, and all before the signs of that thick fog reforming. 

What a night it’s been! Not as many mince pies or glasses of brandy as previous years, but at least Mrs Demurrer left out some of her homemade Christmas cookies for me again. She never fails to bake cookies for me and leave some carrots for you all despite claiming to loathe Christmas and baking. 

However, those cookies tasted slightly different this year, but Mrs Demurrer never fails us, does she? Did your carrots taste the same as they usually do? No, you won’t find her on the naughty list.

Never seen a full moon quite like this one. It looks a bit mysterious like it should be shining on Halloween, not on Christmas night. But it’s always our sign that we’re on the correct route to the North Pole.

That way, boys, towards the moon, and we’ll soon be home.’ 

***

December 25th, 2025. 05:17

Christmas would never be the same for millions of people on Earth. 

Empty stockings hang over fireplaces and at the end of beds. Floors showed fallen pine needles and broken baubles rather than gifts underneath millions of Christmas trees. 

Nobody would find out that the strange moon that followed Santa’s sleigh the previous year was the type many claimed to see when they departed this world.

Looking out of her kitchen window, Mrs Demurrer switched on the kettle and looked out at the strange full moon fading away as thick fog formed around it. Chuckling to herself, she picked up the plate the Christmas cookies had been placed on the previous night and slid them into the kitchen bin. She knew this was the last Christmas she’d have to bake Christmas cookies.

Image for the short story Last Christmas, showing Santa on his sleigh being pulled by three reindeers
Last Christmas

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The Magic Of Christmas

The Magic Of Christmas

It always snowed at Christmas, and it was one thing Fiona detested.

A white Christmas was one of the remaining bits of magic the festive season had over her. This Christmas, she needed to get rid of it once and for all.

Witnessing the arrival of the angels every Christmas Eve had helped keep the magic alive. But last year the angels seemed different; different to how they had always appeared to Fiona. Last year, the first Christmas Fiona hadn’t believed in the magic, the angels had refused to show their faces to her.

“You’re too old to be hanging up Christmas stockings,” Fiona yelled at her daughters as they approached the fireplace. “And you can lay the table and cook tomorrow’s dinner if you want to celebrate. Christmas Day is now going to be like any other day. The magic of Christmas no longer exists.”

At the stroke of midnight that night, Fiona made her way out of the house. Would the angels show their face this year?

It wasn’t long before the warm globes of light appeared. The angels had come back and made their way to the only part of the garden where virgin snow lay. It hadn’t snowed for two days, yet the footprints Fiona had made in that part of the garden were no longer visible.

“You’re not real! Why don’t you show me your faces anymore? There’s no such thing as the magic of Christmas,” she shrieked, as all but one of the angels touched the undisturbed snow and melted into it. As the winter air chilled Fiona’s bones, the last angel turned around and beckoned her towards it.

Doing all she could to stop herself moving towards the creature, its ugly face made Fiona want to scream, but nothing but a silent screech came out of her mouth. She tried thinking about the magic of Christmas in the hope the creature would go away, but her body refused to stop moving. By the time she reached it, its terrifying face had melted away.

Fiona’s heart raced. Had they gone?

A noise from behind her forced her to turn around and look back at the house. Now, before her, the whole garden was full of untrodden, virgin, snow, yet it had not snowed.

As she made the first hesitant steps towards the house, Fiona’s journey abruptly stopped. From underneath the snow, a hand appeared and grabbed her ankle. Her screams went unheard as the warm hand pulled her into the world of non-believers.

Fiona’s last sight of the magical world she had once believed in was that of a stout figure, dressed in red with a long white beard, standing on the roof of the house.

“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas,” laughed the figure, as the final remains of Fiona melted into the virgin snow.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

The Dilemmas Of Christmas Cards

If receiving Christmas cards was a hobby, it would be a hobby I’d embrace and never let go.  

I’ve always preferred receiving Christmas cards to birthday cards. They’ve always been more important to me, but over the years have caused me a few dilemmas. Do you recognise any of these?

How to display Christmas cards

My parents always strung up Christmas cards along the longest wall in our lounge. I’d stand underneath the line and happily count them. And if any of the cards overlapped, I’d make it known so that they could be adjusted. 

I wanted every Christmas card to give the same pleasure to visitors as I got out of them over the festive period.

These days, we display cards on a card rack. The overlapping doesn’t seem to bother me as much as it used to. However, I seem to give priority to those cards I see as more festive.

How do you display Christmas cards?

School Days

During my early schooling years, my class would send Christmas cards to each other. Back then, Christmas cards came in different sizes in one box. The first dilemma was trying to match the correct sized envelope to the right card. 

A box of Christmas cards from the 1970s. Image taken from eBay

Usually, you’d end up with a couple of cards that didn’t fit the envelopes you had left or, on rare occasions, have cards left with no envelopes to put them in. 

These days, Christmas cards seem to come in packs and are all the same size, so the dilemma of matching envelopes with cards has gone. 

In class, we’d make a pillar box out of cardboard, cotton wool, paints and some sticky-back plastic. We were all encouraged to post Christmas cards into the box, and on the last day before the Christmas holidays, our teacher would sort them and distribute them out. 

I’d always be super excited to get a pile of cards with my name proudly written on the front of the envelopes. I’d open them all before rushing home to hang them up with the rest of the cards. 

If there wasn’t enough room on the line, I had to wait patiently for my father to put up another line. Sometimes, this could take days to do, and I’d get very frustrated that my cards were not on display.

And heaven’s forbid if any of the lines of cards came down because of the sheer weight of cards on them. I’d be inconsolable. 

After Christmas, I’d keep the cards I liked the most and make gift tags out of them for the following Christmas.

Did you send Christmas cards to your classmates?

The First Christmas Card

The first Christmas card was sent in 1843. Back then, there were no signs of robins, snow, Christmas stockings or Father Christmas on them. Most cards showed people drinking, eating and being merry.

It wasn’t until the 1870s that Christmas cards began to display some of the festive images we see today.

  

A Victorian Christmas card. Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

Back in the 1970s (when I was sending cards to those in my class), there were certain cards I loved. These include the ones I thought were associated with Christmas. Those showing scenes that included Father Christmas, Christmas stockings, robins, snow, and Christmas trees were my favourites. 

And then there were cards I didn’t particularly like because I thought they had nothing to do with Christmas. These included ones with scenes of horse-drawn carriages, fox hunting, St Paul’s Cathedral, or a hand-drawn poinsettia. 

My favourite classmates always got the cards I associated with Christmas. The classmates I didn’t bother with much (or those I didn’t like) got the boring ones. Back then, you could always tell who didn’t like you much from the type of card they sent you (or so I thought, anyway).

Christmas Postcards 

Step back to the early part of the 20th century, and some Christmas cards were like postcards. Many years ago, I picked up some on eBay. This one is my favourite. 

An Old Maid’s Christmas
On the back.

Postmarked Dec 24th 1912, I love the humour on this postcard, although I’m not sure it would go down well these days. What do you think?

I can’t make out the postmark on this postcard, but the stamp on it tells me it’s from the U.S.A. 

Christmas postcard from the early 20th century
Christmas postcard from the early 20th century

And here’s another early one from the U.S.A, postmarked Dec 23rd 1913.

Christmas postcard dated 23rd December 1913
Christmas postcard dated 23rd December 1913

Postal addresses were so short back then.

Fast-track to the 1980s and Christmas cards were very different. Here are a few of my favourites.

Yes, I have a scrapbook that includes some of my favourite Christmas cards.

The Boyfriend Dilemma

Finally, here’s a Christmas card from 1988 that was sent to me by my then boyfriend.

 

Christmas 1988
Last Christmas I gave you my heart. By New Year’s Day I’d taken it away!

Unfortunately, he went on to break my heart on New Year’s Eve, yet I kept the Christmas card he sent me. I wonder why?

Do you send and enjoy receiving Christmas cards? Have you ever had any dilemmas with them?

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Naughty Or Nice? #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Naughty or Nice?

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Curious Christmas Objects Around The House

Over the years, I’ve collected and accumulated lots of Christmas objects. However, some items have me curious as to why I bought them.

Take, for example, this curious little pot.

The curious Christmas pot

Purchased on eBay over ten years ago, it has never seen the light of day in our house. Not even at Christmas time have I been tempted to put this strange little pot on display. I’m not even sure what it is.

However, there may be a clue in the hole on the side of the lid where maybe one could place a teaspoon.

Does the hole hold the clue?

So is it a festive pot for holding jam, mustard, cranberry sauce, or Boxing Day festive chutney?

And it’s probably no wonder why I’ve never had it out on display at Christmas. I mean, look at it. It’s the stuff of nightmares. It’s something that belongs in a horror story. Feel free to write one that includes this object.

I’m positive the words ‘Christmas Antique’ in the heading of the auction were what tempted me to buy it. I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but it was no more than £20.

Was I conned at buying this supposed piece of ‘Christmas past?’ Maybe the mark on the bottom of the object answers my question? Maybe you know an antiques expert who could answer my questions?

At least we know where it was made

I wonder what’s its history is and what stories it could tell me?

Have you seen an object like this before? What do you think its purpose is? Is it an antique, or was it massed produced for the market?

Thank you to Michael at Spo-Reflections for the idea for this post.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Advent Sunday – Have Any Of Your Christmas Decorations Come Out Yet?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed Advent Sunday. It’s the day when the first few Christmas decorations start appearing around our house.

An eBay purchase from 10 years ago
Another eBay purchase from 2001
Purchased in 2019
Another eBay purchase from 2005

Although I tell myself that I’m not going to buy anymore Christmas decorations (because we have too many), I always end up buying something new every Christmas. Introducing this year’s buy

Christmas 2020

Over the next 14 days, more Christmas decorations will appear, with the grand finalé being switching on the lights on the Christmas tree.

Do you have have any Christmas decorations up yet, or is it still too early to put them up?

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