Sunday, 20 April 2014

Going to Church at Christmas

Do you go to 'church'? Well if you do, according to Google Trends, you are most likely going to search for it, online, in the the run up to Easter and Christmas. An interesting article by the Pew Research Center shows that there is a distinct increase in the search term 'church' in the run up to Easter and Christmas in the US.

Google searches for "church" spike during Easter and Christmas seasons
The search for the term 'church' is highest during the run up to Easter and not at Christmas. Not exactly sure why this would be. A theory could be something to do with the 40 days of Lent. Easter unlike Christmas in the US, has a clear run in without any interruptions. Unlike Christmas, which has Thanksgiving as a major public holiday just before it.

The Google trends complied by Pew Research Center also show that Thanksgiving is the lowest time of the year when the term 'church' is searched for. Which is no surprise. As this is a major public holiday in the US that isn't a Christian festival.

To be honest I can not remember, the last time I went to church. So I for one will not be adding to the statistics this coming Christmas.

Image Source: Pew Research Center

Friday, 18 April 2014

A Christmas Carol Sequel - Bah Humbug

Now some things should just be left alone. Particularly when it is associated with something so fundamentally Christmasy. Now do not get us wrong. We love everything to do with Christmas. But sometimes, just sometimes things should be left alone.

Lee Woodard, a US attorney has written a sequel to 'the' Christmas classic a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now we are fans of a Christmas Carol. So much of it is associated with Christmas. In the run up to Christmas and even during the year, we use terms like bah humbug or you Scrooge. It is probably only second to the Bible, when we think of books related to Christmas. 

Credit to Mr Woodard, who in his press release is quoted to saying:

I love Dickens. A Christmas Carol and have always wondered what happened to its characters after the original story ended.

Really, didn't Dickens make that clear.

"...but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well..."

But should we on this occasion have left any sequel to Dickens himself.

That said if Mr Woodard would like to send us a copy we would be happy to have a read...

Image Source: Mr Woodard

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

What happened to my Christmas Tree

So ever wondered what happened to the real Christmas tree that you choice in a muddy field in December? We always get our tree from the same farm and return the tree to them to recycle. Well they don't exactly recycle the tree, more like mulch it and use it as compost for the trees, we will cut down in the future.

Christmas tree buried at Porthtowan

Some enterprising councils around the world put Christmas trees to good use. The most common that we have read about, is using them to help prevent erosion. In Louisiana they have been using Christmas trees to help protect the coastal wetlands because Christmas trees take a long time to decay. In other parts of the US such as Galveston in Texas, Gulf Shores in Alabama and best known Long Island, New York, the trees are used to help stablise and encourage sand dune formation at beaches. Placing the trees on the beach, the limbs of the trees help stop blowing sand and the idea is that after time the trees will be come covered with the sand.

The other advantage of using Christmas trees in this manner, is the invisible environmental impact. As proven in Louisiana, most of the trees, land up in landfill. The project there has proven to be also cost effect, due to the cost of disposing trees in landfill being more expensive than reusing them in the coast wetlands.

So it would be in the UK the use of Christmas Trees would be an issue. When in other parts of the world there has been glowing praise for the success of similar projects. But in Cornwall there is a clash of interests between the environment and it been an eye sore.

Surely it is better to have an eye sore of a beach than no beach or dunes.

Image Source: BBC

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

UEFA to Remember the Christmas Truce of 1914

This year is the 100th anniversary of the spontaneously game of football played between British and German soliders in Flanders. UEFA are planning to mark the anniversary of the game played during the First World War.

Commemoration of 1914 Christmas truce
UEFA is planning to celebrate one of the most famous events of the First World War. Head of States have been invited of the nations involved to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914 on 17 December. The projected venues are the neighbouring Belgian towns of Ypres and Comines-Warneton – where the informal football game was played.
The remembrance ceremony is planned to be held in Ypres. The great French footballer, Michel Platini, now UEFA President said on the the UEFA website:
"This remembrance ceremony, pays homage to the soldiers who, a century ago, expressed their humanity by coming together to play football, thereby opening an important chapter in the construction of European unity and serving as an example for today's young people to follow." 

Image Source: UEFA