• Austin Birks

Ho, ho, ho, The Force is Strong With This One. Aka: The Real Spirit of Christmas

So, what a great Christmas that was! And indeed, the festive season continues in full flow. It is, without doubt, a wonderful but strange time of the year. The joy of celebrating Christmas itself is of course a personal experience. For some, there is no resonance at all with the actual event itself, and frankly, that is just fine and dandy. Each to their own. For others, it is a most sacred and special time and is important and of value. I suppose for myself, after 59 Christmases not out, I have been through the snakes and ladders of different festive seasons at different points of my life.


I can still almost recall that childlike wonder, that innocence and your parents instil within you as a member of a young family, that unbridled sense of mystery and wonderment that absorbs all of us at that tender and gentle age. It is is interesting how at some point in the journey of life, you suddenly zone out of that space and there you are.


It is a strange dynamic because before you know it, suddenly the years fast forward and suddenly you find yourself in a situation where you are the grown up. For me, Christmas when my daughter was growing up was even more wonderful. Just watching her joy and wonderment as the magic of Christmas beguiled her, as it has many children who were lucky enough to be allowed that rare gift.

Over the course of time, I have watched Christmas evolve, from a time when you had to save your cash and go to shops and buy stuff for the list of loved ones and friends. Which for many blokes was usually a last minute dash on Xmas eve. Of course, many missed a trick here, as a clever and considered bit of pre-planning normally went down very well, compared to the sometimes thinly veiled disappointment at a last minute token gesture.


Indeed, it got me thinking this year about the real meaning of Christmas, what is it all about. Now, do not get me wrong I am not intending to get into any deep spiritual debate, far from; I was thinking about the question of presents and gifts and the easy age of Amazon deliveries and casual buying. It requires no effort, simply the click of a button and that is it.


So, for me this year, I had to, by necessity, do things a little bit differently. Let me elaborate. I wanted to get my wonderful partner a particular present, following a TV show that we have been watching. Sadly, my best laid plan had one fateful flaw: the object that I wanted was simply not for sale. The company who could have cashed in had not thought this plan through, and had made a huge mistake. So, I decided that there was only thing for it, I was going back to my roots, and if I can not buy what I want, then I will attempt to make it myself.


And that is exactly what I did, I popped to Morrison’s, brought some vegetables and made my own (vegan) Baby Yoda from The Mandolorian, which is the latest spin-off from the George Lucas Star Wars creation. If I am honest, I really enjoyed making it. For once, it took effort and care, and a bit of imagination and risk. To be honest, I was not sure if it was going to work, but as soon as it was presented, it resonated and was even better appreciated.


So, after the kindness of many, I find myself with kind gifts and presents that I will value, but maybe more valuable for myself was a little realisation that Christmas is really more than volume, and cost, and deliveries. It is about thought and care and I suppose that is the real message.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not sure if I will do the same next year, we will have to see what happens, but at least this year I went back to Yoda basics. Ho Ho Ho, The Force Is Strong With This One....






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