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                        Living in America vs England



December blog 2016

Posted by dawngriffis on December 10, 2016 at 8:30 AM

A Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year to you all; to those who celebrate differently, good wishes to you and yours.


We have snow, not a lot, but I expect it is just a taste of what is to come. Our freezer and larder is well stocked so thankfully we won’t have to go out when it is bad- one of the few benefits of aging.


I am giving mostly gift baskets this year, with mainly treats I have cooked including the things I know they like, mincepies and Norwegian sandcakes being high on the list. I will make a total of 20 dozen sandcakes and 12 dozen mincepies, this way there will still be some for Mike and me!


Our friend Beverley Coleman has written a few poems for this time of the year, and I will put photos with them. To go with the one she wrote is about a Christmas tree a friend Susan (Judd) Anderson, from Croughton in Banburyshire, she now lives in a small town in the Utah mountains, does a lot of decorations. So to go with Beverley’s poem it will be connected from across the ocean and many miles across the land, her decorated tree. Additionally several of the American pictures will be more of Sue’s beautiful decorations. Therefore this month will be a very England American combination, I hope you like it.


The last poem will be one my grandfather George Parrish wrote back in the 1920s, it is beautiful but sad. It was inspired when he saw a tramp walk through the village on Christmas Eve; the rest is just his imagination.

Home Wishes from Abroad


By Beverley Coleman

Written from a request by

Dawn Griffis, for all the absent friends


I wish I could go home again

And catch up with my friends

I wish that you could feel the love

The love that never ends

My love is dear old Banbury town

I left it years ago

The memories won't go away

As it's still my home you know


And as Christmas is approaching

I'm reaching out to you

To feel the love I'm sending

Though you know it's nothing new


I've once again wrapped presents

I've dec's upon the tree

But I wish it was in Banbury

Cos that's where I'd like to be

So all my many friends out there

And some relations too

From me it's Merry Christmas

Just pretend I'm there with you



St Michaels Church Aynho by Dorothy Gibbs

English robin by David Hartley

Off of the internet showing robin -telephone kiosk & letterr box all things I love from home

This poem of Bev’s reminded me so much of my childhood. We only had heat in the house in the kitchen come living room, where the open fire and grate was where all the cooking was done.The rest of the house was very cold; there was no indoor plumbing so no pipes to freeze. In the winter we would undress, and get into our night clothes in front of the fire, take our hot water bottles to bed with us to warm the bed, and put our clothes for the next day right close to our bed. In the morning before getting dressed we’d pull our clothes in bed with us to warm them up, and then get dressed under the covers; that takes real skill, but well worth learning!

Winter morning


I see we've had a visitor

He came in dead of night

As I looked out the window

I see that all is white.

Jack Frost has paid a visit

Trying to destroy

Anything left blooming

Well I suppose he had a try.

But some blooms they are hardened

And made to take the cold

But me it makes me shiver

But then I'm getting old.

Thank god for central heating

Is what I always say

Remember how it used to be

Remember back in the day.

Getting dressed while still in bed

Your breath showing in the air

Windows iced up, can't see out

Is anybody there.

So on this early morning


If you do have to go out


Just please beware it’s slippery


Where Jack Frosts been no doubt.

frost on a window from off of the internet.

Christmas tree


The tree in all its splendour

The tinsel and the bows

The ornaments you've gathered

Lights in the darkness glows.

The candles on the mantelpiece

A jingle of a bell

A carol playing merrily

To show that all is well.

Wrapping paper everywhere

Sticky tape as well

Let's drink a toast to happiness

And a new year that is swell.

The mince pies and the mulled wine

Holly on display

Children all excited

Waiting for the day.

The stuffing of the turkey

Pigs in Blankets too

Roasties, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts.

My God I need a brew.

Too much excitement for one day

It's all still in my mind

I'll do the rest tomorrow

If the energy I find.



Christmas tree by Susan (Judd) Anderson.

Santa Claus

Poems by Beverley Coleman


Santa is a big fat man

He wears a big red coat

He flies across the ocean

Because he hasn't got a boat.

He has a friendly Reindeer

In fact he's one or two

To pull the sleigh he comes on

To visit me and you.

He starts his journey early

You will find him in the store

Go visit him and tell him what you want

Because he isn't always sure.

He gathers information

So on this certain day

He leaves for you that certain gift

And then he flies away.

He's a very very clever man

Is dear old Santa Claus

He's seems to bring most things you want

And he seems to walk through doors.

He also climbs down chimneys

Leaving Rudolf on the roof

It's magic..... please believe me

Cos I haven't any proof.

So if you catch a glimpse of him

Just wave and softly say

Keep safe while on your travels

Come visit on the day.

Santa from the internet


After Santa I the morning


Imagine all the kiddies

Waking up on Christmas Day

To see what dear old Santa's brought

For each of them to play.

A Dolly that says Mama

Or a soft toy that was black

An Apple and a Tangerine

At the bottom of their sack.

How about some Tiddlywinks

A game of Ludo too

A jigsaw or a penny flute

That they could play to you.

Snakes and Ladders, Pack of Cards

To have a game of Snap

But give these to the kids today

They'd think ...a load of crap.

Once I had some roller skates

That you adjusted to your feet

And a pair of fluffy slippers

That I thought looked pretty neat.

But the thing that I had every year

And still love to this day

Is a box of Liquorice Allsorts

Delivered on Santa's Sleigh.



both photos above by Susan (Judd) Anderson

George Parrish


By George E. Parrish



Christmas Night on a dark highway

A figure old, bent and gray

He was a social outcast

Stumbling along on the dark highway


And from the hill he heard the bells

Ring out so clear and bright

Telling the world a Christ was born

For it was Christmas Night


And he heard the childish trebles

In a street nearby

Singing that sweet old carol

“Glory Be to God on High”


He saw the cottage windows

With their tinsel coloured lights

And heard the laughter from within

And the shouts of childish glee


As they received their presents

From off the Christmas tree

The outcast stopped his thought

Went back to the time when he


Was like those children in their homes

And from all airs and care was free

And he thought of his dear old mother

Who had nursed him on her knee


And had taught him how to pray

And now he was a social outcast

Alone on the dark highway

He saw the village mansion


With lights on all aglow

And saw the merry couples

Dancing to and fro

They were a happy throng


And with a sigh of “Oh My God”

The outcast turned his head

And stumbled on

He passed the other cottages


Their lights they shone so bright

And on again to the dark highway

And the blackness of the night

And in the morn they found the outcast


Cold and still was he

His heart had ceased to beat

His soul was free

A smile was on his cold gray face


His hands clasped o’er his breast

For he had heard that soft voice

Calling “Come my son and outcast

Come with me and rest”

And it was Christmas Night.

a tramp photo from internet the next one shows how they used to dress

the following are family photos



Jane our eldest



Penny our youngest

3 grear grand children and 2 step great grand children 






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