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Christmas times past at Canton Library FAN

Christmas times past at Canton Library FAN

  11 December 2015

The dark nights are perhaps keeping our evening numbers down so it was just four of us in the warm and comfortable room at Canton Library, where we hold our Wednesday meetings. Led by Sarah, Anneliese, Michael and Ian discussed our week so far and then focused on our memories of Christmas. Both Michael and Anneliese had undertaken some serious exercise in the last few days and felt energised and uplifted by the experience of walks in the Barry, Comeston, Penarth and Sully areas. They compared their experience of food and drink in different Wetherspoon's pubs at the end of their walks - in Anneliese's case her first experience in a British pub - and one she enjoyed for its relaxed style. Sarah had similarly been energised by going on Tuesday to see the film 'He Named Me Malala' about the inspirational young Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai and also leading a special FAN Group meeting that took place on the same day in the Cardiff Story at the Old Library in Cardiff as part of the British Council 'Active Citizens' programme organised in Wales by Women Making a Difference (see separate report on that meeting). Then, we moved to talking about our Christmas experiences and memories - inevitably our own experience of Christmas as children and then having children around in later life was prominent, as was the memory of food and drink, especially of our main Christmas meal on the 25th December in the UK, and on the 24th in Germany. We were not all Turkey eaters however, goose, deer and vegetarian dishes also featured. People recalled long, relaxed meals with family and friends spread over many hours. Interestingly, none of us talked about receiving or indeed giving gifts and equally striking perhaps is that no-one touched upon the significance of Christmas to Christians. While we were able to enjoy our memories of Christmas we know that for many, Christmas can be an ordeal when one own life's difficulties are highlighted by the apparent jollity all around.

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