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Do They Know It's Christmas After All?

Posted by Dinny, 14 December 2005 · 1,625 views

10 days to Christmas. I find it extremely hard to get in the "right" spirit 'cause it's doesn't LOOK like Christmas and it doesn't FEEL like Christmas.

Let's not blaim the weather, whoever has got a piece of land down here is crying for rain and we don't get enough. A quick shower, but nothing really to do some good for the dried-out ground. So you walk around in a T-shirt (unless you're Greek, then you would in any case wear a sweater or a jacket since we're in December, never-mind-the-20-degrees) and feel how the helio-teraphy warms up the ol' bones - and this is no way to get into a Christmas spirit! I recall the "mass eviction" of people moving from Denmark to the South of Spain during the 70'es. They claimed, too, that there was no way to get into the Christmas spirit, but they would in any case gather in the local taverna on the 24th of December forcing the poor Spaniards to serve pork roast (with the crispy skin, VERY important ingredient on a Danish Christmas pork roast) and red cabbage and sweet potatoes (actually small potatoes cooked in butter and sugar until they are brown and like caramels).

I have seen that Heraklion has brought out the heavy guns, streets are illuminated with Christmas decorations, everything is very much the "Western Way". My little town has done its best by putting up a ... oh dear, what is the English word for the Italian "presepe"? .... well, the small hut where Mary gave birth to Jesus on Christmas Eve ... but it's all in white plastic with a few electric backlights on and, sincerely, it doesn't work for me. It's just not Christmas down here!

I managed to create some Christmas spirit at home by decorating the Christmas tree - first time ever with a plastic tree - a Christmas tree is supposed to be a REAL spruce with it's wonderful fragrance of wood and resin - and a few Christmas decorations with candles. In the dark evening, when lighting the candles and starting a nice fire in the fireplace it COULD have passed for Christmas, it was a very close-to sensation. But next morning I saw my Christmas tree illuminated by the bright sunshine, and this is definitely a wrong illumination for a Christmas tree. Surrealistic. ;-)

So, I will have to accept that we won't get any White Christmas down here, no fragrance of a roasted duck from the kitchen, no sweet potatoes (I grew up with them, I don't find them obscene at all!!! ehehhe), no red cabbage (which I have always been happy to avoid) - just an ordinary sunny day on the 24 of December, with my daughter making some kind of Christmas dinner, which will be a surprise, and accepting the fact that "here it's different".

We don't really NEED Christmas down here, not the way you need it when you live in Denmark. Winter in Denmark is a 6-8 months period of short days, bad weather, cold ice and snow, and if we didn't have Christmas to lighten up at least a month of this awful climate we would certainly go crazy.

I'll probably spend Christmas enjoying Christmas dinner at my daughters house and then taking the trip to Heraklion on the 25th to attend Christmas mass at the Catholic church there, because that would be the nearest I could come to the true Christmas spirit.

And to all of you, whereever you are, I wish that you too will have a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas.

Well Dinny we thought about it for a while and really couldn't feel sorry for you as we decided lacking Christmas trimmings was a small price to pay for, what did you say, oh yes 20 degrees!!

However, it has prompted us to hit the shops and buy some trimmings as our home was a Christmas free zone in spite of the fact that it is all around us.

BUT, we visited a very large non food retailer today to find them busy dismantling Christmas displays and moving their remaining stock into a smaller space as for them Christmas is obviously virtually over!!

We had fun guessing what may be in the space next week and will return to check.

Do keep us informed about your first Cretan Christmas as it makes good reading.

gos im sooooooooooooooo jelouse!!!!id giv up the christmas feelin to be livin in crete!!!shaps are packed and every1 pushin around!!oh did i forget to mention how cold it is!!!hope u have a nice xmas any way dinny

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