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  • Listening to: Nat King Cole
  • Reading: A Christmas Carol
  • Watching: The Good Life
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Steak
  • Drinking: Red wine


I was asked the other day what is the worst present I have ever been given. When I looked back I discovered that I have very little recall of presents that I have had. My memories of Christmas as a child are not about presents. They are about our family being together and of food. Sitting around the dining table which was loaded to groaning point with Turkey, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, hot stuffing, carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts and thick gravy. There was plenty of food and we could eat until we popped. This was followed after a discreet interval by a steamed Christmas pudding with custard or cream. You had to be careful eating the pudding as it had six pence coins and three pence coins in it. The idea was it was a gift for you if you were lucky enough to find one but you tried not to swallow one :) 
What was most amazing about this meal was that we never normally ate anything like this. This was special food for a special time and I'm sure my parents had to save all year to lay on this feast for us. As I have mentioned previously, I come from a poor family but this just made this day so much more special. The anticipation of this meal was real and the excitement and enjoyment of it had no limit. It was off the scale. Compared to our normal dinners this was like an episode of Man v Food. I will never forget those times as long as I live. It was a magical day. As I said though...........I do not remember the presents. I remember the togetherness and the love and the appreciation for what we had. 

It's funny how a simple conversation leads you down different paths and makes you look at things that you thought you were familiar with in a different light. I was talking to this guy from Poland and he was telling me how he will be spending Christmas in a very traditional Polish way. To him this means eating fish on Christmas Eve and not meat. It was very important to him that he keeps to the tradition of his country. It got me to thinking about what we think of as the traditional Christmas here in England. Most families have developed their own individual traditions inside this general idea but basically we have a picture in our heads of what a traditional Christmas looks like. It didn't take much looking to find that what we think of as tradition is not actually very old. I apologise to non meat eaters now but I'm afraid Turkey will rear it's head. In England it wasn't until the 1950s that Turkey became the most popular meat to eat at Christmas. Before that it was Goose, Chicken or some other kind. So this change was good for the geese but not so good for the turkeys. They say that King Henry VIII was the first to eat Turkey for Christmas dinner over here. Well, maybe that is true ;) Who knows? 
Most of the trappings of Christmas we know and love come from the Victorians. Christmas cards, Christmas crackers, decorated trees.....all came from the Victorians and were popularized by the likes of Charles Dickens. At the start of the 19th century the main time for gift giving was the New Year. By the end of that century Christmas had become the biggest annual celebration in the British calendar and it has stayed that way. The idea of an indoor decorated tree was introduced by Prince Albert and was from Germany. 
I don't know if you are aware but this year we are celebrating, unofficially, one hundred years of Christmas wrapping paper. Now, it is not strictly speaking true as people had wrapped present before but let me elaborate. The idea of wrapping presents was actually invented by the people who invented paper ;) (well you would wouldn't you?) It was in China. It reached England in the late 16th century.
By Victorian England the upper classes of society were wrapping gifts with thick, decorated paper and ribbons. This soon was replaced with coloured tissue paper. Shops started to offer wrapped gifts though they used brown paper and string. "Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things."
This all changed at Christmas 1917. In a stationery store in Kansas they ran out of tissue paper in the run up to the big day so they put the fancy decorative paper meant to line envelopes out on the shelves for 10 cents a sheet. They sold out. By 1919 they were printing their own paper. They went on to form the Hallmark empire and the gift wrapping industry took off. 
It was in the 1930s that rolls of something like sellotape became avaiable. Designs became more Christmassy featuring snowflakes, candles and trees. Then, during World War II wrapping paper was not subject to rationing as the government thought it boosted moral and would encourage the sending of presents to the troops. They were right, during WWII sales of wrapping paper increased by 20%. 
So it seems that the traditional Christmas in Britain is not nearly as old as people think. 

As we are now very close to Christmas day I would just like to ask you to consider your fellow man. If you know of a lonely neighbour or one who could do with a hand with their shopping please try to find a few minutes for them. I know we are all so busy with our own families and their needs but if you can find a few minutes I'm sure there are those who would really appreciate it. Christmas is a difficult time for many people for lots of different reasons. Remember those who are alone at Christmas probably didn't used to be so will be full of their own memories of how joyous a time it was before. Maybe they have lost someone recently and could just do with some company. I know someone who lost his dad last week. Christmas will still be a good time for him and his family but it will never be quite the same again. So if you can do anything to help it would be lovely.

And now onto the feature. Thank you so much if you have read this far and welcome to the feature if you have scrolled down :lol:
It has been another amazing year for art here. I have found many new artists and friends this year and I would like to share some of your work with a wider audience now. Thank you all so much for all your faves and comments. I am a bit behind with my replies but I will catch up as I always do. My love and respect to you all for all that you do and all that you create. More than ever we need creative, loving people in this world and I am privileged to know you all. So sit back and enjoy these pictures. Feel free to fave them or make comments and let the artists know their work is being appreciated. You could just makes someone's day today. 

Peace by MEP4Photography  Bow To The Frost by Nikki-vdp  Feelin' Frosty by LiliaLaurent  Cozy Evening. by OliviaMichalski  Winter Forest II by Pajunen  Happy Holidays by MWeiss-Art  

Eyes by thefirebomb  . : Des Eiskoenigs Schloss : . by PfisterMartin  'O du froehliche' by Ingelore  Merry Christmas Everyone by EvaPolly  Christmas link ! by Omoidenoki  

Up to no good by dinabelenko   Refreeze by eegariM   Christmas Street by annewipf  Merry Christmas 2017 by KarinClaessonArt

Merry Christmas! by Yuukon  Merry Christmas! by poisen2014  The great childhood dream by Julianez  Story time by Lysendrah  Merry Christmas. by CharllieeArts  

Santa's Letter by TinaLouiseUk  Ribbons and bows by SilverMixx  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Trippy4U  Merry Christmas 2017 by videodude1961  La goutte by Piscisvolantis  Missed the Magic #2 by eegariM  and winter came by Luperkalia418  

closer and clearer by Rona-Keller  Winter Dead Wood by richardcgreen  There's a world outside your window... by ansdesign  The old wise trees by Annabelle-Chabert  Twin Peaks by aw-landscapes  A little bit of sparkle by SilverMixx  

Winter in Hallstatt by LunaFeles  I love Christmas by Nikonfinest  In Another World by MaaykeKlaver  Merry Christmas 2017 by LindArtz  
Trees 4 by pillendrehr   Fluchtgedanken by Woman-of-DarkDesiresb The Gate by Woman-of-DarkDesires  The Lonely One by Yuukon    Happy Christmas! by VesnaRa014

Merry Christmas 2017 by slowdog294      Merry Christmas 2017 by Cinnamoncandy       Happy Holidays! by ivtaya      Happy Holidays by Maria-Schreuders      Eternal Winter IV by Aenea-Jones      My gift to you by 1001G

One Last Mile by Trippy4U      Into A Fairytale by Nikki-vdp      Christmas season breakfast by fotomademoiselle      Fraser River in December by dashakern      Through Purple Meadows by tracybutlerart

Duality by Woman-of-DarkDesires     Frelsi by Ivoryia     Bright Eyed And Bushy Tailed by Trippy4U     White blanket by sistersinnister

Brant Street Pier Monochrome (#2) by Zoomer1958  Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood by 4ajka  grapes by PutyatinaEkaterina  Snow yarn by DalfaArt   beautiful morning VII by JoannaRzeznikowska 

Cathedral 2 by GrimDreamArt   Christmast trees by Juanilla     Bewitched by ElenaDudina     All the dreams by MEP4Photography     Winter Brook by Pajunen

STOP, IT IS NOT YOUR TIME ! by IME54-ART  Rotting decaying loving world... by Omoidenoki  Footsteps Walking Over Frozen Ground by 33M  Fairy Christmas! by EnchantedWhispersArt 

Full Rainbow at the beach by gigi50  the winterwoodlanddays I by Bodhisattvacary  First Snow by BaxiaArt   Mg 9984 1 by Micko-vic  o.T. by pillendrehr 

dark tenderness by LinkyQ  Untitled by LinkyQ  Moonlight Mountains by AnnMarieBone  Journey of Change by TeaPhotography 

Walk in the park III by Pajunen      Life, life by Anka-loves-to-fly       Winter ID by Floreina-Photography

When We Were Together by LidiaRossana  The Very Special Assistants by saperlipop  Watching... by Juanilla  Jean's Pipes by IdaBarracuda     

Gefrorene Schatten by Woman-of-DarkDesires  Mountain Desert by irrationalrationale  065 - Purple by ElyneNoir  Between Dreams by VelvetRedBullet 

daydream by ivtaya  The Precipice... by nehab16  Shadows of Silence by WhimsicalBlue  The Young and the RestlesSs by MagicLaDyCharm  Leith Haven by Milomeiko

Premiere neige by Melusine8  I Heard the Bells by LewisKocher       Woodland Mushroom by EmMelody    Lilliput Castle at Night by adrianamusettidavila

Dead Horse Point by Pistolpete2007    Leaves by Finsternisss    From the Dunes by Goodbye-kitty975    ... by only1second    Mother love. by jennystokes

Mystic tree by rougealizarine  Arua by ArrHart  ChameLEON by Fiograph  Golden Morning by Alannah-Hawker   Autumn Colors #3. by Sparkle-Photography

The Edge of the Forest by Pajunen    Aphantopus hyperantus by ColorfulLadybug  Land of the Vikings by aw-landscapes 

What ''Philup'' see a-gawn to work of a mornen... by AlicesPlace  Memories by Aeternum-designs  Window by AncaXBre  Installation 1 by aspruli  When there's nothing left. by OliviaMichalski

H-face 5 by Anka-loves-to-fly  Curtain by LidiaRossana    The kingdom of Elfs by Sigfodr  From Roots to Needles by realityDream

Little Winterberg by MartinAmm      Devil Bridge by porbital      Crystal Mill by porbital

Darkness Queen by Sweetlylou  Nightfall by Laerian  Sweet Illusions by MagicLaDyCharm  focus by huhahohi

Trap by Floreina-Photography  Just me by Finsternisss  a taste of November by Rona-Keller  village square by VityaR83 

92607 by jodeviant  Chief Mountain by MaciejKarcz  Daisies by a Fence by MayEbony   Travel by thedaydreaminggirl 

Fall Colors by tango793  people break so easily by MWeiss-Art  Ophelia by MWeiss-Art  Everlasting by solefield  Move on by Konakira 

Self Portrait by RawPoetry  Lenticular by RawPoetry  Like an angel by Konakira   Black House in Glencoe by Enlothien

Thank you for looking through these wonderful pictures. I hope you found something to like. Please let the artist now they have created something special :heart:
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I truly hope that 2018 will show us a more compassionate side of humanity. I know I can find all the good human traits here among my friends. It's just the rest we have to work on :lol: Especially those in the governments of the world.
May you all keep on being so wonderful, creative, imaginative and full of love and hope. You....and what you do......means so much to me. Everyday I come here and I find inspiration in your creations. You all touch my heart.
Take care of yourselves and each other. Take care of your husband's, wives, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, families and strangers. Spread the love. Spread the hope. Keep the darkness at bay. :heart:


             

          

            

        

      

        

      

      

        

        

      

        

        

      

        

      

   

      

   


Add a Comment:
 
:iconadrianamusettidavila:
adrianamusettidavila Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much!Hug 
Very interesting text Nod 
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You are very welcome :hug:
Reply
:iconvesnara014:
VesnaRa014 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 14, 2018
LoveButterfly by KmyGraphic   my-dear-friend! by vafiehya  Thank you very much, my  dear friend Lawrence!  Be-happy-and-healthy by vafiehya   Happy 2018 by vafiehya  
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You're very welcome dear Vesna :hug: 
Reply
:iconbodhisattvacary:
Bodhisattvacary Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful journal, thanks for including my photo and a happy new year. :)
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You are very welcome :) 
and a Happy New Year to you too :)
Happy New Year 2011  
Reply
:iconmweiss-art:
MWeiss-Art Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much, my dear friend :heart:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You are always very welcome :)
Reply
:iconfiograph:
Fiograph Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Happy New Year Lawrence! Happy New Year 2011  or how you say in German: "Ein Frohes Neues Jahr!"! I hope it's going to be a good one!
And thank you for including Leon in your feature Inconspicuous 
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure my dear Fio :hug:
a very Happy New Year to you 
I hope 2018 will be good to you 
Reply
:iconeegarim:
eegariM Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2018
A little late but a Happy New Year to you! May it be a good one!

I enjoyed your story time, as always. It's crazy how some people get super rich off of some "accident" that turns into a hit. People just like to pay lots of money for garbage. :P
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
That's ok and thank you :)
a very happy new year to you too :)
Reply
:iconeegarim:
eegariM Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018
:hug:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
:) :hug:
Reply
:iconmocris:
Mocris Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:heart: Wish you a Happy New Year!
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
A very Happy New Year to you too Monica :)
Reply
:icontracybutlerart:
tracybutlerart Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
What a wonderful piece of writing. Happy New Year to you, and thanks for including my wee painting. All the best.
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks Tracy and you're very welcome :)
Reply
:iconrawpoetry:
RawPoetry Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Many thanks for including some of my photos! This is a lovely collection! :heart:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You're very welcome Carly :)
Reply
:iconansdesign:
ansdesign Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much for the mention, dear Lawrence. :hug:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You're always very welcome dear Ans :hug:
Reply
:iconlilialaurent:
LiliaLaurent Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the mention ;-)

Spongebob (Happy Happy Xmas) 

merry exmas 
Merry Christmas - fella (Universe) 
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure Lilia :)
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
Reply
:iconalannah-hawker:
Alannah-Hawker Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018   Photographer
Thank you for the feature! :)
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You're very welcome :)
Reply
:iconluperkalia418:
Luperkalia418 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
:merry christmas:many many thanks for the feature, it's much appreciated! Snow Leopard Emote  
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
You are always most welcome :)
Reply
:iconmep4photography:
MEP4Photography Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Such a lovely story you tell, Lawrence. You're a great writer! Thank you so much for including me in this wonderful feature, and I'm sorry I'm so late to respond to this. I hope your Christmas as very merry, and your New Year very happy and wonderful, containing all you wish for. :heart:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Lovely to hear from you Maryellen.
I hope your Christmas was lovely :hug:
My best wishes to you for 2018 :) let's hope it's a good one :)
Reply
:iconlewiskocher:
LewisKocher Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for adding me in, and have a Happy New Year my friend!
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
A Happy New Year to you too Lewis :)
lets hope it's a good one.  Cheers 
Reply
:iconelynenoir:
ElyneNoir Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
What a lovely feature :heart: Thank you for including me! I hope you had wonderful holidays :)
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much :)
You are very welcome of course :D Yes, I had a lovely time :)
Reply
:icon1001g:
1001G Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017
always look forward to your very informative journals......christmas in germany as a child was different to and so many fond memories of all of us gathering and staying in the kitchen because thats were the coal stove was and warmest room in the house.  ty for sharing and letting all be part of it.
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you Edie :)
lovely to read your memories.
it reminds me we had a parrafin heater in our kitchen that made our eyes water because of the fumes. :lol:
happy times :)
Reply
:icon1001g:
1001G Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2017
oh that doesnt sound to pleasant but better than being cold.
the kitchen is where everything happened and in germany all the rooms have a door......and the hallway was freezing cold.
Reply
:icononly1second:
only1second Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for this beautiful feature and for including my work :heart: :hug:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
You are more than welcome :hug:
Reply
:iconoliviamichalski:
OliviaMichalski Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
You are very welcome :)
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017   Photographer
Thank you very much Lawrence! Hope you've been having a wonderful time yourself as well!
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
It's my pleasure Monique. :)
I've been having a lovely time thank you :)
Reply
:iconjennystokes:
jennystokes Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thanks Lawrence.................I hope you had a peaceful and happy day.
Yes.............I think we need to really start looking at who we are voting for.  I believe that most people are good when shit happens BUT when huge amounts of money become involved we have no way out.
:heart:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure Jenny :hug:
well yes.......election results and referendum result over the last few years have been depressing and unbelievable.
History shows us though that following any deep recession there is a violent right wing swing and a move to isolationism. The sooner this passes the better. 
Reply
:iconjennystokes:
jennystokes Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2017  Professional General Artist
Oh yes..............I am NOT sure things can change now. Moneyed people have a big 'grip.' Possibly only a revolution when people don't have enough to eat.
This is so sad to me and many of us.
Happy New Year Lawrence and I do hope it is a good one. :heart:
Reply
:iconcinnamoncandy:
Cinnamoncandy Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much. Have a wonderful new year! :hug: :heart:
Reply
:iconlordljcornellphotos:
LordLJCornellPhotos Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
You're always so very welcome Candi :hug:
I hope that the New Year brings you something good :hug:
Reply
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