Thursday 25 December 2008


“At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year” - Thomas Tusser

A Merry Christmas to all! I hope your day is filled with joy and peace and contentment. Whether with family, that special someone, good friends or indeed or all of the above, enjoy the day and make merry.

We are travelling today as I was able to book a very economical trip to New Zealand through a website as it appears that very few people wish to travel on Christmas Day! New Zealand is a four-hour flight from Australia and one the closest international destinations for us. Whenever I have to travel overseas I think of very long flights. Seven, ten, 15, 20 hour flights to get to anywhere reminds me just how faraway and distant from everywhere else our island continent is. I guess New Zealand is even further away from elsewhere.

The birthday flower for today is the white Christmas rose, or hellebore, Helleborus niger, which is symbolic of the Nativity of Christ. In the language of flowers, the white hellebore signifies purity and chastity, but the darker shades of the flower mean calumny and scandal. The white hellebore is also dedicated to St Agnes who is the patron saint of young virgins.

In the past, the day on which Christmas fell was thought to prognosticate the weather and the vicissitudes of the year ahead:
If Christmas falls on a Sunday, that year shall be a warm Winter,
The Summer hot and dry, peace and quiet amongst the married folk.
If on Monday, a misty Winter, the Summer windy and stormy;
Many women will mourn their husbands.
If on a Tuesday, a cold Winter and much snow, the Summer wet,
But good peace amongst the Princes and the Kings.
If on Wednesday, the Winter naughty and hard, the Summer good,
Young people and many cattle will die sore.
If on a Thursday, the Winter mild and the Summer very good and abundant,
But many great men shall perish.
If on a Friday, the Winter neither bad nor good, the Summer harvest indifferent,
Much conflict in the neighbourhoods, treachery and deception.
If on a Saturday, Winter will snow, blow hard winds and bitterly cold,
The Summer good with a harvest full and bounteous,
But war shall rack many lands.

Merry Christmas; Καλά Χριστούγεννα - Kalá Christoúyenna; Joyeux Noël; Feliz Navidad; Buon Natale; Nadolig Llawen; Nollaig faoi shean; God Jul!

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