Spring 2003


Commodore’s Report
Thing’s we need to know
Message from Joan Bray

Annual Club Fee
Work Party

Calendar To May
Start of Season Party
Open Weekend
Very Windy Sunday
Sailing Secretary Report
2002 Prizes
Annual Dinner 1
Annual Dinner 2
For Sale/Want
Murder Mystery Evening
Valentines Dinner
Land of Pasty Factories
Richmond Theatre
Tower of London
AGM & Prize Giving
In The Money
Web Site

The Sailing Program
The Last Race Day
Carrot and Coriander Soup

Christmas - What does it mean to you ?

Season of goodwill? Rampant commercialism? A break from work? A chance to spend some quality time with friends and family? Endless expense? Well … it's probably in there somewhere. Christmas, in the Christian Church annual festival, held on 25 December, is to celebrate the nativity, or birth of Christ. The origin of the celebration is unknown. Scholars believe that it is derived, in part, from rites held in the pre-Christian Germanic and Celtic peoples to celebrate the winter solstice. If you are a believer, then the story as related in the Holy Bible might be more the basis of your Christmas celebrations.

My earliest memories of Christmas were of a far simpler time. Since then Christmas has progressively become more and more sophisticated. That's not to say they are any less enjoyable just that expectations are higher. Pressure from advertising has a lot to do with this. At its most simplistic it's predictably aimed at the children, at it's most sophisticated it's aimed at propounding the latest seasonal thinking to ensure we provide 'the perfect' Christmas.

This peer pressure is often couched in time saving and organisational benefits, aimed at make us look like the consummate parents and hosts. Christmas now is a curious amalgam of influences. The religious and charitable often forgotten. The Dickensian ideal, together with the wish for the increasingly rare 'white Christmas' and the commercial, in terms of food, drink, presents and decorations.

With all these positives one wonders therefore why stress levels are sky high at this time of the year. Just before Christmas I spent a day with Lyn shopping in London. Lyn wanted to see the Christmas windows, having once worked in window display at Yeager in Regents Street. Apart from Liberty's and to a certain extent Hamley's no one bothered with Christmas windows at all. Indeed many stores had already started their sales.

I have never come across so many ill tempered shop assistants who obviously didn't want to be selling anything. The only exception was a French sales girl in Debenhams who couldn't have been more helpful. Perhaps, in answer to this, the papers were full of Christmas breaks in far flung places and hotels. Let someone else take the strain, just pay and turn up for an instant Xmas. With some of these deals you even have the option of attending church on Christmas morning for a genuine Carol Concert. Remember those ? but of course that's optional, you don't have to go.

This year one of the national newspapers reported that just 3 of the top stores 960 greetings cards refer to birth of Jesus. The most popular cards featured Snowmen, Snowflakes, Candles, Puddings, Reindeer, Santa Claus and Teddy Bears. I think the Church has it's work cut out in future putting Christ back in Christmas !

Having said all that I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas, I know I did. I guess the old maxim that Christmas is what you make it, still holds good.

Mike (Over Easy) Baker