It’s getting near

It's getting near

The decorations are up, cards sent, presents bought and wrapped. Now only a few days more to go before the man in red drops down your chimney.

Light man

Decorating town and city streets starts early and takes manpower.

That old story always gives me a mixed feeling of giggle and shiver down the spine, for when I was at the tender age of believing the Santa thing, I felt deeply uneasy, okay afraid, that some stranger would come into my home while I slept. All those stories about not talking to strangers obviously had an effect.

Light bubbles

Competition is fierce as to which town or city has the best Christmas lights.

Some stranger (for I had never actually met the guy, only some alcohol breathing impostor in a department store who demanded, ‘What d’ye want fae Santa, hen?), dressed in this weird red costume very different from what ordinary folk wore, was intent on finding a way into my house while I slept. Ugh, no way!

Raining lights

Lights rain down across numerous streets in Funchal.

My fear wasn’t helped by the fact those without chimneys, lamenting possibly losing out on the general bonanza, were assured this guy with the beery nose and forced cheer in his laugh, would still find a way into their homes.

Man amongst lights

Amongst the green foliage and coloured lights there is a man in a white hard hat.

No-one was specific, but into my mind jumped remembered mutterings and stories about how burglars broke windows, jemmied locks, padded across slate roofs and squeezed through skylights.

Lighting palm tree

The trunks of palm trees are circled with lights.

Magic palm wands

In the dark the lights transform the area into something magical.

I found it difficult to understand why it was all right for a bloke dressed in red, but not for those wearing striped jumpers (that’s what they always wore in the comic strips I saw).

Dressing the tree

Dressing the tree, or to be accurate, one of the trees.

Waiting for lights

Dressed, but still awaiting its lights.

Yes, I know, the fat man with the bushy cotton wool beard came with a heavy sack lugging the things you had wished for all year, and with the promise of which you had been bribed for eleven and a half months to be good; while the skinnymalinkies came with a sack which would bulge once they had removed precious items from rooms in the house…including your bedroom!


Dressing the columns

Waterfall lights on columns to make the place shimmer.

Welcome Christmas

Shimmering lights to create a magical atmosphere.

I must have been one of the few kids around whose parents had to spill the truth about that nice man Santa, reassuring me that no-one violated our home on Christmas eve, and that they were the ones who piled the presents beneath the tree. Relief. Big smile.

Fallen stars

Fallen stars perhaps, lined up and standing to attention, awaiting their fate.

Fallen star seating

Guess what – the stars are for sitting on in an area of the new promenade in Funchal, and what’s more they light up. A number of events such as carol singing would be taking place here.

Once that nightmare was banished, I could relax and really enjoy Christmas, adding my own trinkets and drawings to the stockings, crammed with small presents, a tangerine, an apple and a silver sixpence, we always hung on the old wooden clothes airer, realising it was a time for giving and sharing as much as, even more than, receiving. I could hug my parent Santas and appreciate my presents even more.

Empty bamboo containers

Waiting patiently for…

Lobby poinsettias

…poinsettias, of course, to make a colourful display.

These days are long gone, and now I enjoy playing Santa to my family. So roll on Christmas morning.

Feliz natal

These scouts were taking photos of people within a Christmas photo frame. I said they could take my photo if they would let me take theirs. What wonderful smiles!

Have a great Christmas everyone, and I hope all your Santas are good to you.


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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6 Responses to It’s getting near

  1. walter- says:

    I enjoyed reading this article. The fat man wearing red coming home can be mistaken for a thief, is a very funny picture. The border between illusion and reality may be lost and then the confusion makes his game. Children imagination is an inexhaustible fantasy factory.

  2. Thanks, Walter. I guess it shows how old stories don’t always work in our modern world though the underlying theme of giving and goodwill to others remains valid (though perhaps under threat given what is happening today in many countries). Hope you have a great Christmas and a very satisfying 2016.

  3. mybrightlife says:

    Lovely walk through the lights in your area. Thank you. We are back in the Middle East and the Palm trees are a-lit too! unexpected but fun!

  4. That must have been quite a removal – from one continent to another. Hope you are getting settled in now.
    The palm trees were in Madeira where the other photos were also taken. A few hardy but stunted palms manage to grow (though not necessarily thrive) in sheltered spots on the west coast of Scotland, but they really appreciate a warmer climate than we can provide. The one benefit of being in the north are the long summer evenings – after eleven at night before it’s dark – and around midsummer a hint of light often remains in the sky. Of course we then suffer in winter with short days when darkness can fall between three and four o’clock and sometimes it feels as if it doesn’t become light at all. One of the reasons why it’s so good to have sunny photographs to look at and remember days of warmth and sunshine.
    Hope 2016 is fruitful for you.

  5. I know I’m so late that it’s actually over, but I hope you had a wonderful time! And have a happy Hogmanay wherever you might roam!

    • Roaming at present, and for the immediate future, is around the house, Tara. Too wet and windy to do anything else. No immediate travels in prospect – unfortunately. So guess I’ll just need to pack away the summer gear and settle for winter jumpers and waterproofs. A great Hogmanay and successful 2016 to you too.

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