I said I wasn’t up for posting much at this time of year, but this quote from the Idler’s Almanac really bugged me
In England, before the Reformation, it was a time of complete revelry and not the slightest bit of work was done. Accounts from medieval literature detail how households were taken over with nonstop games, feasts, and gift giving for twelve days. Roasted peacocks would be brought out to meals having been re-feathered and their beaks painted with gold;Idler’s Almanac 1st December 2022
I worked in a pub when the “Keep Sunday Special” campaign was in full swing back in the late 1980s and would be serving Sunday dinner with drinks to people who were part of this campaign and who could not see the irony that myself and my fellow hospitality workers were still working on a Sunday so they could have their cooked Sunday lunch. And I felt this comment of “not the slightest bit of work was done” and “nonstop … feasts” were in the same paragraph.
The wealthy may not have been working. Some of the farmers may not have been working. Although those with cows would still be milking. But also the servants were preparing the feasts, keeping the nonstop games going, making sure the washing up was done, the party goers had clothes to wear because I’m sure people did not have 12 days of party clothes. There were a lot of people still working. It was a certain people group who were not working.
So even this year when many of us stop to enjoy time either with family or time out, or to endue this period when so much stops, remember those who have to work: not just the nurses but all who are in the health care profession; the farmers who still have to care for their livestock; the teachers who use this time away from school to be planning for the next school year; those in the service stations up and down our motorways because the law says there must always been a skeleton staff on 24/7 365 days a year; the Police, Fire, Ambulance and Coast Guard services, some of whom maybe on call which means they can’t relax into the revelries; those running homeless shelters and animal care centres; the mums and wives who will still be cooking the food and clearing up and keeping the whole show on the road; those manning help lines like Samaritans, Childline, Domestic Abuse charities, Cancer support, etc.
So even like it was back in Medieval revelry time when there were still some doing work over this time, remember those who in 2022/2023 will still have to be working, caring, and keeping going.
I’m afraid we can’t all be idle.