Picture of the sort of stove Granny used courtesy of Google image
Have just been over at Menopausal musings and was reminded about the time I lived for a while at my grandfather's house in the Forest of Dean. It was a 2 up 2 down semi and had no running water, indoor toilet, nor electricity. Cooking and heating was done on a range and the flagstone floors having no damp course were constantly wet in winter not only with the wet brought in on shoes but with damp rising from the ground beneath the stones.
I thought of my grandmother (who I never knew as she died when my mother was just a girl) and how difficult it must have been for her to bring up her family under such circumstances on very little money. Then I thought of how much I have now - warm dry house with all mod cons, enough money to buy the essentials etc. I so often complain about this or that and yet I have so much more than she ever had. According to my mother Granny was often to be heard singing "Count your blessings" so if she who had so few could yet sing and remain cheerful why is it that I can feel depressed and miserable when I have so much.
Christmas must have been quite a different affair in Granny's days - no fairy lights, no turkey (it wouldn't have fitted in the oven which was very small even had she been able to afford one) no piles of gift wrapped presents under a tree....
In Paris the lights were fantastic (will post about this later in the week)and the shops on the Champs Elysee decorated and filled with fantastic gifts at prices we could only imagine in a game of Monopoly and yet there were also many beggars and people sleeping roungh and I was struck by the contrast.
Let's not forget that Christmas isn't just about decorations, lights nor costly gifts but remember the REAL message it brings.