We’ve hit December and it’s officially Christmas season. It is time to get festive. Most of us are lucky enough to have people to share food & love & gifts with. It’s incumbent upon us to think of those less fortunate whilst we enjoy our jollies.
With that in mind I’m going to suggest more than one charity this month. Pick your favourite, donate to all or just do whatever you can. First up, Giving Tree. It’s organised by Kids Out, a charity who aim to give disadvantaged children (many in refuge to escape domestic violence) positive experiences. At Xmas they do giving tree to give children who may not otherwise receive presents a gift that they would like. I saw this one at Braehead in Glasgow, but there are tonnes of similar schemes all over. You take a tag from the tree & buy the requested present.
I absolutely love this idea, but reading the tags broke my heart. All of the requests are so modest. I couldn’t help but think of how often I buy my little ones treats for no reason special reason at all. Every child child should be showered with love & blanketed in safety. Beyond that they shouldn’t ever have to wake up to disappoint on Christmas morning. Nor should any parent have to face the task of explaining why Santa isn’t coming.
I couldn’t resist picking up two tags. The thought of this baby still waiting for their first book was too sad. There are still lots of gift tags awaiting a kind soul. It’s so easy to make life a little brighter for these wee ones. Please help Santa reach them if you can.
Rediscovering old tunes. It started with Hall & Oates; my sister mentioned she had recently realised how good they were, so I had another listen. She was correct & it spiralled from there. I have since found myself in voyage of musical rediscovery & I am loving it.
Since they kicked off this forgotten tune trip, Hall & Oates are the perfect place to start. My mum used to play them in the car all the time when I was a kid. I didn’t dislike the songs then, but I think they just kind of washed over me. I was busy thinking about important 13 year old things & fighting with my siblings. Who has time to pay attention to some old dudes their mum likes? Turns out mum’s old dudes were pretty cool. In particular Rich Girl & Maneater have made my frequently played list. I love that they sound simultaneously upbeat & chilled out. I’ve known plenty of rich kids who could ‘rely on the old man’s money’ & I can totally relate to the song’s portrayal of that type. However, I think what I like best is that I can close my eyes & be transported to another time. I can picture mum’s big hair & remember how safe it felt to drive around with the music up loud.
Next up was a song I heard a snippet of on a tv show & immediately needed back in my life. Novocaine for the soul by The Eels is another little time machine. It takes me back to the end of high school & navigating my first forays into adulthood. It is a turn it up loud & dance away your problems kind of song. It has to be said that my problems back then were laughably light; I definitely didn’t need any novocaine. The whole Beautiful Freak album has worn well. My problems may have gotten heavier, but blasting The Eels can still help lighten the load.
The wonder of shuffle dug up the gem that is 212. Azealia Banks has since revealed herself as problematic af, but I can’t stop loving this song. This is so not my usual kind of jam, but I can still remember the first time I heard this song. It blew me away. I love everything about it; strong sassy women taking no shit, killer beat & that feel good factor. For some reason this will always be a sunny day song for me. It’s perfect crank it up & get ready to go out music. So glad to have this foul mouthed banger back in my life.
I first remember hearing Bright Eyes First Day of my Life around the time my Godson was born. The lyrics really hit me because when I looked at this tiny new person I felt like I was getting a fresh start too. I wasn’t in a great place back then & that precious new baby to focus on was a real life line. I’ve thought about this song again when special little people have entered my life & the words still hold true. When I hold a new baby who is dear to me I feel flooded with love & renewed. The arrival of my tiniest nephew brought this one back to me & I’ve been playing it a lot lately. Life is so much richer when you have little ones to cherish.
Ok, the left is down, but it’s not out. With evil pricks sweeping into power the world over it’s important to take a stand. We can all make a difference; none of us have to look far to find a worthy project to support.My plan this Xmas is to give locally & hopefully encourage others to do the same.
If anyone needed a reminder that the patriarchy still isn’t smashed recent events have certainly served that purpose. Women are still under threat from numerous directions. Unfortunately those closest to us can be the most dangerous. In the uk 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. There are still 2 women dying every week at the hands of a male partner or ex partner. With 90% of women reporting their children witnessing attacks it is clear how far reaching this problem is. The human impact of these figures is devastating. Being outraged is not enough, we can all do something to help.
Glasgow Women’s Aid provide support & refuge accommodation to women, children & young people experiencing domestic abuse. Their services are far reaching, from emergency housing, to legal advice & counselling services. Even a small donation could help keep someone safe this Christmas. If money is tight you can still support Women’s Aid by following them on social media. They often post request for items needed to allow women & their children to start a new life. You may have things lying around unused to that can ease that process or a simple share could bring it to the attention of someone who does.
Twitter – @GWA1973
Facebook – @GlasgowWomensAid
There really isn’t any excuse not make this festive period feminist. Let’s get giving.