23 December 2011 08:55

 Dear oh dear… it’s definitely the bah humbug spirit in Larnaca this Christmas. What happened to a bit of feeling jolly for the holiday season?
Shopkeepers stare out from their shops, looks of abject melancholy on their faces. Sales are down... I get it… but trust me, there’s nothing more off putting than going into a shop where the assistants have a severe case of the grumpies.
Entice people through the door with a little Christmas cheer and some decent deals and maybe they’ll spend their hard earned cash, but crummy decorations and even crummier staff won’t get my money out of my purse.
Phinikoudes also has a weary air about it. Want proof? I walked along it late one morning this week and only one guy tried to get me into his restaurant. One! I haven’t been accosted by that few restaurateurs in... well... ever!
I don’t mean to be insensitive. I know it’s the recession and the overall lack of cash that’s causing the air of gloom… but why does Christmas have to revolve around spending large amounts of money? It never used to.
Children used to be happy with what they got (well, maybe not happy every time... but they generally knew well enough how hard their parents had worked to get them their gifts), and, not having available to us the array of technological miracles that are on sale now, the truth is we didn’t aim that high in our letters to Santa either. My letters pretty much always had a doll top of the list,
My parent’s generation expected (and usually got) even less. A Satsuma orange, a few nuts and a new penny were a Christmas treat for them. Can you imagine placing those into a child’s stocking now? Said child would probably need to go into counseling for umpteen Christmases to come.
Many will disagree, but maybe the financial constraints imposed upon everyone will bring back more of the traditional spirit of Christmas – you know, where it’s the thought that counts. Gifts don’t have to be shop bought… people can cook and sew. I suppose the argument to that will be - we don’t have the time. But did our grandparents? When many worked twelve hour days?
Many of my best childhood presents were lovingly made by my Uncle… a dolls wardrobe, a dolls house and a rocking horse. I didn’t even know that they were handmade and I wouldn’t have cared anyway, because to me they were magic. Even now, looking back, the best presents I’ve received in my life haven’t been the most expensive ones.
Whatever your Christmas costs, I hope you have a wonderful one.
Merry Christmas everyone.
P.S The news that nearly forty feral cats were poisoned at Protaras last weekend has stretched even my festive goodwill. This callous and dreadful act should not go unpunished and the things I wish upon the lowlife who did it cannot be put into print. My heartfelt sympathy to those who fed these cats for many years.