I have just been for a walk. I needed to get out and burn off some of that Christmas food, and we haven’t actually reached Christmas day yet. So it set me thinking while I walked, why do we eat so much at Christmas.
It all started many centuries ago; During the winter months, people came close to starving or actually did starve as the winter progressed. There were not the resources to store or import food, so we only had what we could grow at the time.
When we reached the longest night, now close to the limit of endurance, the night’s started to shorten. This made it a time for celebration. Bring some greenery into the house to prove it was not all over. Kill one of the birds we had saved and have a mid winter feast, eat it along with what we could grow during the frosts, sprouts, parsnips, and other root veg.
Then the Christians came long, they adopted the pagan festival and called it Christmas. So we stuck a star on the top of the evergreen tree that we had in the house and called it a Christmas tree. Now we had a feast to celebrate something other that the end of a fast.
As we moved into the industrial era some companies provided a Christmas meal for their workers. Ironically the reason they needed to do this is because they paid them so badly that they were once again on the verge of starvation.
So now there were two feasts, the family and the company.
Then along came Coca cola, mass advertising, and an age of greed. They presented Christmas as a fat man in Coca cola colours along with mass consumption Father Christmas was born.
Now in a modern age, there is no risk of hunger (not for the rich third of the world anyway) so we don’t go hungry at all before we feast.
Then our family feast has grown. We have a work family to feast with. We have a social family to feast with (often more than one) and not forgetting our actual family.
So we feast, and then feast some more. Often completely forgetting why we feasted in the first place.
So before you feast again take some time to just go hungry for a short while and think of others.
Meanwhile I am off to another party. More cake along with the tango and drinks.
Happy Christmas from Gresford, don’t eat too much and enjoy the celebrations.