Merry Christmas – Blog Hopping Encouraged



A dedication to all my followers, across all platforms, and an apology for absence. You can also share links if you want to connect.


There is many a festive image one could choose to head a post such as this, but I think gnomes are cool; especially Christmassy ones.

I will begin with a massive thank youΒ to all the new faces on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads, GooglePlus and, of course here.

If I’ve missed anyone on the NaNoBlogHop drop a reminder in the comments and I will chase it up post haste. My links are at the bottom of this post,

If you wish to share yours then I will gladly connect.

It is now just short of one month since NaNoWriMo 2016 drew to a close. In that time I have struggled to finish the project started. Perhaps the time of year has thrown in a few curve balls and demands that don’t exist in other months. I get reflective and ponderous and below there are some odes from Christmas pasts that often make me think about how fortunate we are to be blogging and celebrating. Not everyone has the ability to do that.

Even in 2016 the world is drifting on an uncertain tide and, despite my unwavering feeling that people all over it just want to get on, politicos seem less and less in touch with reality and more intent on personal ambition that skews elections and creates more problems than it solves.

There is a rather sour verse by Thomas Hardy from his final book of poetry entititled “Winter Words in Various Moods and Metres”

Christmas: 1924

‘Peace upon earth!’ was said. We sing it,
And pay a million priests to bring it.
After two thousand years of mass
We’ve got as far as poison-gas.

War poets, perhaps more than most, have a deep empathy for the spirit the season brings and the exactitude of reality in places where the season bypasses. Brushed away because it interferes with fortunate living and frivolity that millions have died to uphold. It’s not that I amΒ cynical, but in tune with reality.

I believe the world can do better than this.

Not that I am trying to put a dampener on things, far from it. I feel that we all have a duty to step back for a moment or two and appreciate the less fortunate, spare them a thought. Maybe offer them a kindness; a cup of coffee for the homeless, a small donation to charity, a brief visit to an elderly neighbour; anything really that draws a smile on someone else that, and here’s the rub, aren’t family and might not even be someone you Β know.

Also reflect on what it might be like living in their shoes. Would you want to be shown a kindness by a total stranger?

If you’re still staring with the eyes saying “Eh?” then go read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. It’s poignant and probably my favourite novel about this time of year.

Also remember, like puppies, kindness is not just for Christmas!



If you have read this far then I expect you are a good sort who gets that my message is not about sadness, but reflection and doing your bit; however small.

Now make merry, be jolly and enter the New Year with new determination and optimism to, in twelve months time, be in an even better place than you are right now; think mindfulness and well being there…not necessarily vast mansions and unlimited wealth….although….


The post it is for ALL OF YOU, wherever you are. In keeping with Great Expectations for The Dark Tower movie “Long days and pleasant nights.”



If you want to connect then feel free to join in.


Twitter @GaryJefferies10

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Β© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.








46 thoughts on “Merry Christmas – Blog Hopping Encouraged

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    1. Thank you Daisy, and agreed. If one doesn’t reflect then learning is hard and mistakes will often get repeated. That what I found difficult when considering Hardy’s four line ode.

      I do hope your Christmas went well and was, indeed, very merry 😊

            1. Ooh, no…I must not take credit for this challenge…it’s all the work of Niki Lopez. I stumbled across her last year and have found a good friend as a result. She’s also had some bad times and has turned to life coaching out if it. Very impressive outlook now too. Definitely worth looking at her blog…as for possibly giving it a go….might I suggest positivity….and say yes, give it a go instead 😊

                1. Awesome Daisy…and same here. She was one of my first blogging friends and her challenge was the first one I did! Looking forward to reading your take on it too πŸ™ƒ

  1. Hi Gary! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to 2017 being my best year yet!!
    I’m so glad you’re my friend, and that my BBFFJ introduced us!
    Thank you for pointing out how bad it was, and can be. So that we can count our blessings!
    You are a blessing to me.
    And of course the gnome is cool- he’s standing outside in the snow! lol πŸ˜‰
    Here is a “sweet” post for all to enjoy snacking on!

    1. Hi Melinda, I hope your Christmas was excellent…quite possibly purple too! I have a few things I’d like to achieve in the coming year, not least is publishing lol.

      Yes, the post took its own direction after I saw the Hardy ode. It had me staring and thinking for quite a while about parts of the world still involved in disruption and war. Bit of an eye opener when you look at how fortunate we are really.

      Thanks for your link 😊

      1. Of course my Christmas was purple! lol
        So far no purple presents yet, but there’s still hope, since our extended family Christmas will be this Sat.12/31.
        Yes, we need to all be more aware of the others in this world, who are not as richly blessed as we are. I read somewhere that is you have a dry place to sleep, a bed, daily food, and even a little money, we’re in the top 1% of the world’s wealthiest people> That really blew me away. I try to thank God every day for ALL my many blessings!
        You’re welcome for the link!

    1. Yes, I was actually looking for Christmas poems and came across that. In four lines Hardy says a great deal. Although I felt synergy with his feelings. To be a war poet back then must have been a very traumatic experience at this time of year and, sadly, there are parts of the world where that sort of tragedy is alive and kicking today. I like to spare a thought for things like that amidst our revelry here.

      I’ve actually contemplated running abstract poems from some of the greats as a theme of weekly posts. Wasn’t sure if it would work though.

      Many thanks for your wonderful comment too.

    1. And the same to you Sarah….promise to pop back onto your blog after resetting myself for January. I do hope the season of goodwill goes well for you, so Happy Holdays right back at you 😊

    1. I know, such a simple concept. Although voicing it aloud is, if history runs true, was possibly not my smartest move πŸ€”

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year….possibly one in which I will have a bash at battle blogging once more 😊

  2. First….the Christmas Gnome Picture – I LOVE πŸ™‚
    Second….How apt is the Thomas Hardy Quote there! Makes you really think.

    I agree this world can do better, we can do better….I can do better

    And your message was mindful and thought provoking.

    Wishing you a Happy Christmas, my friend.

    1. Got to love gnomes, especially Christmas ones. I have four festive ones here lol.
      War poets are very somber chaps with very good reason. I picked that Hardy poem because it’s short and concise. I was thinking about Syria in conjunction with it and that drew in the bit about people versus their politicos. If the message makespeople think about how fortunate they really are then they might feel more inclined to look after their lot and maybe not take their good fortune for granted.

      Merry Christmas Helen πŸ’

  3. Hi Gary,
    This was beautiful. I am in America, California. And I agree with what you’ve written about politics and political leaders.
    You are correct. We are lucky to be celebrating and blogging.
    You said I could leave a link so I will. Thank you for this chance to meet your readers.
    Hi everybody,
    I am Janice, Gary’s friend. I invite you all to come to my blog which is about anything that will make us all better content creators. On my blog, we party tomorrow and you are all welcome to join in the fun.
    Here is the link to my About page so you can read more about my blog and me.

    1. Hi Janice and thank you. I think you hav suffered my political rolling of eyes a number of times on various posts and comments. Several times on your blog too 😱

      Merry Christmas and remind me to leave a review of your book on GoodReads if I haven’t by the New Year!

      1. How exciting! I think it will be my first review on goodReads! My daughter heard of the site and was so impressed, totally your influence. Thank you for helping me gain clout in the literary world.

        1. I think there is another review site to investigate to. I’m going to have a look at that in the new year and will let you know if it’s worth it or not.
          One thing to note though GoodReads has a 5000 maximum on friends. After that people can follow, but can’t add in. I’ve seen suggestions saying once it hits the limit, start considering who you allow as a friend…I guess that’s an issue if you are Stehen King or JK ! Mind you my connections are growing there everyday so maybe not πŸ€”

      2. PS I enjoy the political eye rolling. Misery loves company as they say. They also say great minds think a like. Please don’t stop the political jabs; I enjoy them too much.

        1. If you insist!! Unfortunately politicians seem unable to offer anything but scary mirth! Except it shouldn’t really be funny…alarming maybe…but it tempers ridiculous at times !! Obviously this is just my opinion πŸ˜‡

      1. Hi BB FFM,
        You are a blessing to me too, big time! Thank you for writing that; it made me feel great at the holidays. Gary is certainly a blessing to both of us and the blogging community.
        BBF FJ

    1. Thank you Samantha. It was a spur of the moment thing and diverged somewhat when the Hardy ode appeared. Agreed too, it should be all times and not just for today. Merry Christmas x

    1. I thought the Hardy ode might, with hindsight, ruffle a few feathers. But thank you for saying it’s so me Truly. That’s good to know…I was thinking of you and your blog when I used Great Expectations near the end…authoresque rather than music in this case! I hope anyone reading this gets the message that’s intended to be there too. I knew you would 😊 Merry Christmas to you too!

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