One of the reasons I haven’t been writing this blog so much lately is because, with so much sad stuff going on in the world, I haven’t been sure what to say. So it’s strange that last week – of all weeks – the cat finally released my tongue.
I’ve been in a conflict about writing about cafés and beaches and play farms and National Trust properties, when people are arriving by the boatload from lands where everything they know and love has been blown to bits and when a city not far from here has been terrorised. It seems shallow and I’ve thought: frankly, who gives a f**k?
But then this week I wrote a couple of posts – about pretty animal heads and about a day at the beach, and some cafés (which admittedly we undertook eight months ago). And you know what? It felt nice to write them. It seemed indulgent, but it felt nice. But I worried that it might seem as if I don’t care about what happened in Paris, or about those desperate people in the boats, when of course I do.
Anyway, late last week I went to Popsicle in Lewes, a bright, happy hug of a store (for those of you who don’t know it) whose whole vibe is positivity, light, glitter and colour. I was talking to Sharon, the owner, who is also my friend, and I asked if she was going to have one of her (legendary) Christmas parties. She said she wasn’t sure if that was OK – to disco and have her till ringing when there’s so much sadness in the world right now.
As I thought about it later, I thought – yes. Surely it’s OK for people to run their businesses, to try to do well at Christmas, and to support their families? Surely it’s OK for people to buy Christmas presents for their loved ones? Because surely it’s OK to follow the spirit of the Parisians who have stated that it’s OK – no, it’s downright imperative – that they sit once again out on the terrace in the face of the meticulously planned attack of their city and their way of life.
I want to enjoy Christmas and to continue to blog about it, because life needs to go on. But it also feels slightly crass to do so in the face of such a lot of suffering. So I’m going to take a little inspo from our American friends, and weave the season’s laughter and merriment with thanks – because now’s a time if ever there was one, to reflect on how lucky I am.
And, because blogging feels a vapid thing to do against the current world backdrop, between now and Christmas, Little Lewes will become a way to raise money for The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). [I have a friend who works in the charity sector, who I’ve asked to advise me on the charity that will really use donated funds to take significant action for Syria’s refugees. I have it on good authority that The UN Refugee Agency is it.]
Little Lewes’s contributions to The UNHCR will begin with asking anyone whose business I plug to make a personal donation. The total of these will be disclosed below each post.
With affiliate links – all those buttons in the side bar from the big gun brands – I’ll donate all the commission I receive. So if you want to buy Christmas presents from John Lewis or any of the others shown there, why not come to Little Lewes first and click to JL, Boden, Lakeland, Habitat, Smallable etc. from here? You’ll be getting your Christmas presents sorted, while inadvertently giving some pennies to a great cause.
For my own part I’ll be giving ideas, energy and content, which takes that thing we’re all in such short supply of: time. I’ll be administrating it, blithely asking people I’m writing about to donate, and hopefully writing content that’s useful, a bit light and a little fun. (And I’ll be making a fiscal contribution of my own, ‘course I will).
Meantime, if you’d like to make a donation of your own in lieu of hitting a ‘like’ button for what you read on Little Lewes – and most specifically what you’ve read in this post – please go ahead by clicking any of the pictures in this post.
Thanks for reading.
6 thoughts on “Christmas on Little Lewes: A Time for Giving”
Brilliant idea Kate, really up for that! X x x
You inspired it Sharon! xx
Well said! UNHCR is a great cause. Terror shouldn’t silence us, and it certainly shouldn’t extinguish happiness and hope. If we fail to remember that then they win. xx
This is very good to hear from you particularly Mrs Ballentyne as you would know! And your comment is so right – it’s very important that they don’t win. It’s key to the shape of the world our children will inhabit as adults xxx
THANK YOU Kate. Our family are only doing kids gifts this year and making donations for all the adults- great to know where to send the money and fantastic use of your blog. Lots of love x
What a fantastic idea Lucy. The Guardian also launched its Christmas campaign today (it raised £400,000 for its mental health charity campaign) and it is also dedicated to helping the refugees. I’m sure that’s an equally valid place to put one’s money: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/24/guardian-and-observer-charity-appeal-2015-refugees-katharine-viner