It’s not yet December but our thoughts have most certainly turned to Christmas here at Craigclowan. The nights have drawn in, the weather has turned cold, snow can be seen from my study window on the slopes of Ben Vrackie and, of course, the John Lewis Christmas ad has been launched to much fanfare (and just a bit of disappointment in the Gilmour household). Christmas performance rehearsals are in full swing and today is that most inauspicious of days, Black Friday. I might have mentioned this before, but Black Friday for me embodies all that I don’t like about Christmas...don’t get me wrong, there is much that I do like about about Christmas, however, greed, debt and unrestrained conspicuous consumption are anathema to me.
Look around you at this time of year and it can’t escape your notice that big business will be trying every trick in the book to part you from your cash. Each year there seems to be just one more thing that you can’t do without (have you got your remote controlled tree candles, sprout shaped party poppers or gin filled baubles yet)?! So to my mind, it is even more important that we push back just a little and give some airtime to the things that really matter.
So, what is it that I do like about Christmas? It is summed up I think by a spirit of giving, having time to spend with family and by the abundance of creativity evident all around. No more obvious will this be than when the great Craigclowan family gathers en-mass tomorrow for our Christmas Fayre. Amongst the many local creatives and producers will be 20 of our own young entrepreneurs who have been busy creating their wares to sell at the Fayre. Enormous amounts of thought, care and passion have gone into producing their many diverse products but, to a pupil...they get it. Our puppet theatre will be performing shows throughout the day to give pleasure and amusement to others...they also get it. And of course, the choir and pipe-band performances will give huge pleasure to all those present...they too get it. And come the end of the day we will return home, slightly lighter in the wallet, but happier in spirit and reminded of much of what really matters at Christmas.
John F Gilmour