Those Quaint little Traditions – A cautionary tale.

“Come on, gather around the Christmas tree, I want to get a picture of you all.”

The family lined up around the tree. It was an artificial tree that had been in the family for twenty years. Every year it dropped almost as many needles as a real tree would, and as such was now mainly a stack of metal wires with tinsel and baubles all over it and very little green fake leaf left. Every year one of her children asked, “why don’t we get rid of this old tree?” and she’d always reply, “because it’s tradition.”

On the top of the tree sat a Christmas Angel. Well, it would have looked like an angel once, but its wings were bent, it’s halo crooked and it’s face had long ago been scratched away by the Christmas lights, but it was tradition.

The Christmas lights themselves were also very old. Several of the bulbs had gone but they were wired individually so they still worked. The wiring was threadbare and some of the copper wires were showing through, but they were tradition.

It was tradition that made her make all her family line up in front of the tree. It was tradition that she would then have to hunt around for half an hour trying to find the camera.

It was tradition that someone in the picture would be blinking, or making a face, and it was tradition that the photo would languish in the computers memory banks and no one would ever get to see it.

It’s also tradition to have a Christmas fire, only this year it was caused by the faulty Christmas lights and the family only just escaped with their lives.

Some traditions are best not to be kept.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 12/December/2018

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/your-daily-word-prompt-tradition-december-12-2018/

Mystery Blogger Award Nomination

Mystery

I have been kindly nominated for this award by that brilliant blogger, a Guy Called Bloke, see the post here:

Mystery Blogger Award Nomination 5

I strongly recommend you check out his blog. He is a prolific blogger and posts about 15 times a day! There is always something fun to read or a great game or challenge to take part in. 

I was nominated this award by Sadje of Keep It alive not too long ago, see my post here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/sunday-sunshine-and-mystery-blogger-awards-bonus/

What is the Mystery Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

The Rules:

1) Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog 

2) Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well 

3) Tell your readers 3 things about yourself 

4) Answer the questions from the person who nominated you 

5) Nominate 10-20 bloggers [Not Adhering to] you feel deserve the award 

6) Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one 

7) Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

Here are the questions that Rory asked:

My 5 Questions

  1. Tick or Tock, which is best that describes your personality and why? – I’d say Tock, I am very much more of a Tock than a Tick. I do my own thing, but am strangely conformist at the same time. I conform to many social norms, but only because I want to and not because they are ‘norms’ and if I feel obliged to do something, I often don’t do it. 

2) With regards Passion Fashion and Fabric which is your go to for 199% comfort – Rubber, Silk, Canvas, Pollycotton, Linen, Jersey, Crepe, Lycra,Lace, Velvet or simply all bare – and why? – I am 199% in favour of natural fibres. I detest Polyester, it stops the skin from breathing. I would like to like Wool more but it makes me itch so I can’t really be too fond of that. In winter time, I love my corduroy trousers, nice and snugly warm. I also like Cotton and Linen, natural all the way but not au-naturelle 😉 

Talking about au-naturelle, there has been a lot of discussion of late about people in the nude, naked skiing and other activities. Well here is a picture of me learning to walk on water in New Zealand a few years ago.

3) What is the routine you undertake each day when you log into WordPress before you start to create a post? – 

I check to see how many views I had the day before, then i go through and respond to all the comments that I’d missed that had come through overnight. 

4) What is your best time of the day – night, morning, afternoon, dusk or dawn and why, what makes it special for you?

Mid-morning is usually my best time. I’m not an early bird nor a night owl, so between 9am and midday is probably the best time of day for me. 

5) What is an ideal Christmas day for you and your family if relevant?

Growing up Christmas Eve was always the family gathering, because one of my Uncles has a birthday on Christmas Eve. We would gather round, enjoy a christmas buffet that my Aunt put on and then swap presents.

Christmas day was always quieter. My Mum always cooked Turkey, which is common in the UK but I have always detested it. It just tastes like a load of nothing. So now, since leaving home, I keep Christmas day as a quiet day and cook a Christmas Dinner with something other than turkey. I might do some Lamb, I love lamb or Venison. This year I am having Goose. Traditionally Goose and/or Beef was eaten on Christmas day in the UK, at least by those who could afford them. Then Turkey came over from the States and being a bigger bird, could feed a family much cheaper and so it became the norm…But not for me. 

I always do Roast Potatoes and Parsnips, Sage and Onion stuffing, lots of green vegetables and Yorkshire Puddings. Got to have Yorkshire Pudding on Christmas day. Luckily I am a fairly capable cook. 

Three Things about me.

  1. My Name is Kristian
  2. I hate Turkey (The foodstuff)
  3. I Love Yorkshire Puddings. 

My Questions:

  1. How do you spend your December the 25th?
  2. Do you like Brussels Sprouts?
  3. Have you ever had Figgy Pudding, as in the song, We Wish you a Merry Christmas?
  4. Is it likely you’ll have Snow on Christmas Day? 
  5. Do you have any Holidays/Vacations planned for next year?

So Who do I Nominate? ANYONE WHO WANTS TO TAKE PART. 

Happy Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali and Yule, any other celebration that you have around this time of year.

December Blues – A poem.

I’m feeling Chagrin,

Frigid and frozen rigid,

December is here, 

But where is the cheer?

The shops are full

of pushy people

No good will

All shove and no love.

When will the Spirit of Christmas Appear?

Not this year.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 01/December/2018

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/chagrin/

https://biaatlas.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/your-daily-word-prompt-frigid-december-1-2018/

Three Things Challenge, 10th June 2018

This is a Three Things Challenge as set by the haunted wordsmith, see link below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/three-things-challenge-10-june-2018/

Here are the three words for 10 June 2018: boy, hobbit, romance

 

Here is my attempt:

 

Every Christmas it was the same routine. She always got up first and started the breakfast. Then for the only time in the whole year her two kids would get up without her having to yell up the stairs at them. 

Jennifer and Jonathan, or Jenn and Jojo as they want to be called at the moment, would still play fight as they tried to be the first ones to get to the presents under the tree. 

“Wait, you have to wait until after Christmas dinner to open your presents. Grandma’s coming and your Auntie Jocelyn and Uncle Peter. They’re bringing your cousins Eric and Abigail too. I want you to all open your presents at the same time.”

Continue reading Three Things Challenge, 10th June 2018

The Gift of Guilt – Short Story

Quietly the man crept through the trees. Carefully treading to avoid making the slightest sound. The ground was covered in snow, which had turned the forest, usually dark and foreboding, into a white wonderland. The clean smell of the fresh snow mingled with the aroma of pungent pine needles. The low flumf as he gently placed his feet and walked further and deeper into the wood. The snow muffled his steps but also clearly marked where he had been for all to see, but hopefully no one will find them until tomorrow and he would be far from here by then.

There in a dense thicket he saw what he was looking for. The most beautiful Norway spruce with the ideal shape and standing 9 feet tall. It would make the perfect Christmas tree to go in the entrance hall of his house.

Pulling out the axe he had concealed in his jacket he set to chopping at the leg thick trunk of the tree. The noise echoed amongst the trees but would also deaden the sound so that no one outside this thicket would hear much at all.

The man maintained a steady rhythm with his axe, never faltering or hesitating. Eventually the great tree gave way. The sound of the crack as the trunk snapped then followed by the roar as the tree collapsed to the ground.

Without hesitation the man began dragging the tree back towards his parked car and trailer.

He could never understand why people spent a fortune buying Christmas trees when they could drive into a forest and claim one for free. He supposed he should feel guilty but he didn’t. Guilt was not an emotion that came easily to him.

As he yanked the tree over the snow-covered ground, he looked back and saw that when the tree had fallen, it had dislodged a large nest. Two white doves lay against the snow, their necks broken and fresh bright red blood was spreading around them.

The sight triggered that emotion that he had hardly ever experienced. For the first time since his youth, he felt guilty. Tears actually fell from his eyes. He collapsed to his knees in the snow and wept. Not just for the doves he had killed, but for all the other things his selfish acts had caused over the years. He had never taken full responsibility for his actions, now his chickens had come home to roost. His partner who stood by him, but who he’d never felt the need to be faithful to. His children who he never prioritised and treated like inconveniences, only spending money on them to get rid of them. It wasn’t just the tree that had come crashing down but his whole world. The forest had weaved a kind of magic upon him, a spell that cleared away his ego and allowed him to feel that underrated but necessary human emotion of guilt.

He left the tree, went back to his car and drove home, a changed man. Changed for the better.

That Christmas was the best Christmas he’d ever had. He had received the gift of guilt and it made his life so much better.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25/April/2018