Christmas Card Gallery

By | December 23, 2020

A huge Thank You to all members who have contributed to this festive webpage. It has now expanded from the original idea of a gallery of  ‘Christmas Cards’ to include seasonal short stories (and a poem) and some relevant links to the National u3a website.  Read on!

Gallery No 1 – A collection from talented u3a members

Click or tap on any card to see it full-size and to run the gallery presentation.


Gallery No 2 – A fine collection from Tony and Judith Crimlisk

Click or tap on any card to see it full-size and to run the gallery presentation.


Christmas Card Stories

Creative Writing Group produced a collection of their stories and read them to the Sunday Social Group in November 2019. Each story was inspired by a Christmas Card. Enjoy.

Just click on a title to expand the text:

CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS by Elizabeth Dixon

CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS

Elizabeth Dixon

Matilda was just tall enough to plant her elbows on the windowsill. Her chin was resting on her hands and she’d pushed her bottom lip out. Oblivious to the scorching heat of the radiator on her knees, she stared through the glass, watching the crisp snow glittering in the morning sunshine. She could hear children in the distance screeching with laughter and in her mind’s eye she could see the gang from the estate behind her house tumbling down the bank towards the swings and slides – on their tummies, on makeshift plastic bags and, if they were really lucky, on sledges.

“Can I go out in the snow, pleeese Mummy?” she shouted through to the kitchen where her mother was busy spraying bleach cleaner onto the kitchen work surfaces.

Susannah, wiping furiously with a J-cloth, rolled her eyes for the umpteenth time that morning. “There’ll be plenty of opportunity to be out in the snow when we go skiing in a couple of weeks. And you’ll be kitted out with a proper suit by then.”

“Can we make gingerbread men then? Ava made some with her mummy yesterday.”

“Maybe next week,” came the response from the kitchen. “Or, if you’re a really good girl, I might added them to the Waitrose order.”

Matilda reluctantly turned her attention back to the snowy garden scene in front of her and watched a cat as it sauntered across the white lawn. She was disappointed when the sound of her father’s car pulling onto the drive made it skitter off in a flash of black, but seeing him haul a Christmas tree out of the boot and onto his shoulder cheered her up immediately.

“Ooh, Mummy, Mummy, can I decorate the Christmas tree?”

Susannah visibly winced at the thought of her daughter placing those beautiful new baubles haphazardly around the tree. “No Darling. I’ll do it while you’re in bed tonight then it will be looking lovely when you wake up tomorrow.” Bored and frustrated, Matilda’s bottom lip started to tremble.

Not five minutes later Susannah moaned under her breath as she peeled off her rubber gloves to answer a knock at the front door. It was their neighbour Wendy. “Hi Susannah,” she said brightly. “I’ve got some of the family coming for an early Christmas dinner tomorrow and I wondered whether Matilda would like to help me decorate my tree. Emily and I used to do it together but with her away at uni this year I’m all on my own. It wouldn’t feel the same doing it on my own.” Both mother and daughter beamed broadly.

“Yes, I’m sure she would,” said Susannah, thankful for the opportunity to get on with mopping the floors in peace.

Wendy’s house was smaller than Susannah’s but Matilda loved it. There were two large squashy sofas squeezed into the living room, each one teeming with cushions of every colour conceivable. On the rare occasions she was there, what Matilda loved most was the feeling of being wrapped up in all of this comfort and warmth. But there was no thought of curling up on the sofa today – not with a Christmas tree to decorate! She was beside herself with excitement.

The bare tree stood squat and sturdy in the bay window, just waiting to be dressed. Wendy carefully unwrapped each piece in turn and gave Matilda a brief history of how long she’d had it and what it meant to her. Matilda was fascinated to learn about each of these treasured decorations, some of which Wendy had had almost her entire life! They were precious and fragile and she couldn’t believe Wendy was letting her actually touch them. She handled them with immense care as she considered where on the tree to put each one. For the final flourish Wendy picked her up to place the fairy on the top. “Beautiful!” Wendy announced. “Now, let’s go and make some hot chocolate, shall we? Would you like chocolate sprinkles and marshmallows?”

“Yes please!”

THE MAIL COACH by Michael Howard

THE MAIL COACH

Michael Howard

The penetrating sound of the post horn startled me from my brief slumber. I peered out of the carriage window into the gloom of the spent day and I saw leafless trees and hedgerows flying by. The thunder of the hooves of our gallant equine foursome and the occasional cry of our driver, together with the crack of his whip, were the only sounds which pierced the stillness of the night. The Mail Coach swayed erratically from side to side on the rough and rutted Turnpike road. As we descended the long incline from the crest of Shooters Hill, on the South Downs, towards Dover, the whole structure, rattled, creaked and groaned in protest at our pace..

I glanced around at the other three passengers huddled together in the confines of what had been our abode for the whole of that day and evening and I silently prayed we would remain upright and in one piece for at least the next two hours. During that long sojourn the conversation had been somewhat intermittent and at times, quite stilted as if each of them wanted to maintain their individual anonymity at such close quarters. As we had boarded the London to Dover Royal Mail Coach on the Surrey side of London Bridge at dawn that day, we had all expressed the wish for a fast journey, but delay upon delay, resulting in twelve hours of utter misery, had worn us down to the silent, morose state we were all now in.

Alongside me, and occupying a goodly proportion of my seat sat a rotund gentlemen of advancing years who went by the name of Percival Montgomery. His shoulder length silver hair was tied at the back of his head and he wore a wide brimmed leather hat. In fact, his overcoat was also of the finest leather, lined with the softest of white ermine fur. Opulence and grandeur oozed from him in bountiful quantities and I was mystified as to why he would travel in such squalor when he was obviously wealthy enough to own a carriage and pair.

Opposite me sat a stern looking gentleman, dressed entirely in black. His hair was greying at the temples and was hidden for the most part by a top hat, a size too big for his head. Henri de Chambonne had spoken little, remaining silent and aloof unless addressed by Mr Montgomery or myself. When he did speak his accent reminded my of France, or perhaps Flanders would be a more accurate description. He had informed us that he resided in Corsica where he owned several profitable businesses as well as a villa in the mountains.

His companion was an attractive but shy young lady in her mid to late twenties. She was introduced purely as Miss Eleanora. At first I believed she was his daughter, and later I surmised she might be a servant due to the brusque way he addressed her complaints. However, when dusk fell and she told him she felt cold, he took her in his arms and wrapped his travelling blanket around them both, hiding their bodies up to neck height from view. As it grew dark, the whimsical look on her face and the flirtatious nature of their hushed conversation left me in no doubt as to their intimate relationship.

As for myself, Ernest Braithwaite Esq, I am in my Thirtieth year and single to boot.; fit and healthy, strong of will and inquisitive of mind. I was about to exchange the excitement of the Christmas celebrations in my native County of Westmorland for an austere voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in mid Winter.. As Owner and Master of the 450 ton trading schooner, FAIRE JAYNE, I, and the eleven of my crew were bound on the morning tide for the Americas with a cargo of farm machinery for the Colonies. I intended to carry three fare paying passengers and I was looking forward to some lively conversation on the three month voyage. I hoped and prayed they were not as dull as my present companions.

As we rounded a bend in the road, the lights of the Port of Dover lay below us. And within the hour our conveyance came to a sudden halt in front of the magnificent facade of the Britannia Hotel. As the most sprightly of the four of us and impatient for terra firma, I alighted first and dropped the steps and held open the carriage door. I was immediately engulfed by the steam rising from the flanks of those four tired but gallant steeds which had drawn our lumbering coach the last sixteen miles of a horrendous seventy mile journey. A blast of the chill East wind caught us unawares and sent a shiver down our spines but it also brought a smile to my face for it heralded a fair wind down The Channel.

An hour or so later, full of good food and wine, the Cargo Manifest checked and signed for, my Customs Clearance dealt with in an affable manner, I leaned back in my leather chair and surveyed my tiny, warm and homely cabin. As I began to relax for the first time since the dawn of that day. I heard a call from the deck, indicating my three passengers had arrived on board. I rose and pulling on my greatcoat once again, I ascended the companionway to greet them. Can you imagine my surprise and astonishment when the  Watchman raised his lamp to reveal the faces of my three companions for our forthcoming voyage. Yes, you’ve guessed it, one rotund gentlemen dressed entirely in leather and a stern looking man with his young female companion. What a Christmas at sea this was going to be!

BOLTON ABBEY CHRISTMAS CARD by Joan Ridout

BOLTON ABBEY CHRISTMAS CARD

Joan Ridout

She stood shivering in the snow, the ice-cold wind blowing down from the Yorkshire moors biting into her cold cheeks. She pulled her fur-lined hood further over her head.

It was all so sad. Henry had done his mischief on the old priory, ransacking its contents and destroying the roof. He’d had no sense or feel for the history of the old place. Setting aside the religious implications of his actions, it was an act of sacrilege on the very stones of the edifice, on the skills of the craftsmen who had built it, and on the time taken to complete it.

The girl was quite lost in her unhappy thoughts when a voice called out.

“Come on Carol or you’ll be late for choir practice. What on earth are you doing standing out there in the freezing cold?”

Carol turned and walked back to her friends. Adjoining the ruin was a church which had not suffered the same devastation as the priory and towards this the young people made their way. Carol’s mood very quickly changed on entering the large double doors as the warm air hit them. The lights gave out a cheerful glow and the Christmas tree sparkled. The organist and choir leader were bustling around and the young people took their places for the rehearsal. The mingled fragrance of the greenery, holly, fir tree and flowers decorating the church pervaded the air and the choir focussed on their singing. It was easy to get into the spirit of Christmas.

What a contrast for Carol between the two experiences. On one hand was the destruction and desolation which would remain forever and on the other hand was life, celebration and the promise of more to come. The orange tinge of the late winter sky had turned to black by the time the young choristers came out. There was lots of chatter and laughter as they left the church and priory behind them and climbed the path to the road and to their homes.

“Did you enjoy the practice?” asked Mum when Carol came through the door.

“Yes. It was great. He thinks we’re ready for the big day.” She disappeared into her room, still feeling down.

It was some six months later, when the warm summer weather had arrived, that Carol made a request.

“Mum, you used to take us down to the old priory when we were little and we’d have a picnic and play by the river. Id like to go there again.”

“What a nice idea” said her mother, at the same time puzzled at her teenage daughter’s request.

And so one afternoon they went. The river sparkled and visitors were crossing on the famous stepping stones, meandering around the old boulders and ruins, and disporting themselves on the grass. Carol felt reassured. The old priory still had a life and purpose, giving succour in a different way. She tucked into the picnic and lay back, soaking up the sun.

UNCOMMERCIAL CHRISTMAS by Joan Potter

UNCOMMERCIAL CHRISTMAS

Joan Potter

My first memory of that day is always of heat and light, of excitement, and the sense of escape from the gloom of late November. No drab figures muffled against wind and rain, breath condensing in the cold; no dripping bare branches probing the morning mists, the reds and golds of autumn trampled to mud beneath them; no dismal grey days and early darkness. Here were T shirts and sundresses, bright flowers and blazing skies. We, that is myself, my husband, and my brother and sister in law were changing planes in Santiago before flying further south to meet up with my nephew, and we had stepped out into summer.

I’m not a great fan of urban landscapes but the view across the city from our hotel was spectacular. Massed skyscrapers of all shapes and sizes rose from the coastal plain at the foot of the Andes, their pastel shades etched by dark shadow. Glass and concrete glittered in the bright sunlight which also gilded the mighty, snow-capped peaks towering up behind them. Though exhausted after two days of travelling, and desperate for sleep, with only a few hours to spend in Chile’s capital, we just had to go out and explore. Even my invalid sister in law summoned up the strength from somewhere.

We travelled to an older part of the city via the clean, efficient, art adorned metro, assisted all the way by friendly people. No damp, downcast or raucous passengers with smelly takeaways, or shoppers struggling with bags and parcels leaking so-called Christmas bargains. In fact, to our delight, there was no sign at all of the kind of pre-Christmas hassle we’d left behind. Other passengers smiled at us, a young woman leapt up to offer Margaret a seat and later, another gave us directions to the main square and then accompanied us to make sure we got there.

Plaza de Armas, a huge open area dating from the 16th century, and surrounded mainly by colonial style public buildings, was an idyllic spot on that hot, sunny Saturday afternoon. It was full of local people, strolling in the heat or resting in the shade of waving palms, purple blossomed jacarandas and other lofty flowering trees we could not identify.

Around us, street entertainers were surrounded by family groups, fortune tellers sat at folding tables with cards and beads to hand, but few clients, and artists were not only painting, but making frames or stretching canvases. Their paintings, mainly crude but colourful depictions of local scenes and poster-like paintings of religious icons, were displayed for sale on boards or on the warm paving, protected by gaudy sun umbrellas.

Wandering on we were surprised to see a covered platform packed with dozens of small tables, their tops marked out as chessboards. It was also packed with players, and a few observers. They were mainly men; old, young, suited, casual, and even scruffy. A notice pinned to a tree simply said Chess Club, but it looked as if anyone could play.

There were market stalls too, with mouth-watering displays of food as well as clothing, household goods, flowers, and toys; but nothing designed for tourists, nor for Christmas – not a Christmas Card, tangle of tinsel or a mince pie mountain to be seen. There was no tannoy broadcasting mangled Christmas Carols either, and no false jollity from multiple Father Christmases. Instead, there was the muted sound of conversation, children calling and splashing in the central fountain, and an occasional passing vehicle. It seemed that Christmas in Santiago remained a religious festival, free of commercial razzmatazz.

A sudden burst of folk music drew us across the square and a shyly little girl child gave Margaret her seat on a chair by the roadside, where a troupe of dancers was preparing for a display. Soon, red and white embroidered skirts were swirling, spurs jingling and people applauding as the mock rancheros and their ladies performed intricate dances to lively music, calling out, singing, clapping and stamping and clicking their feet on the tarmac as they did so.

Our time was up, but as we moved away we spotted a Christmas Tree in the distance, incongruous against the blazing blue sky and the ice-cream kiosk beside it. As big as the one in Trafalgar Square, it was topped with an unlit star, and decorated with what looked like red and white baubles, as big as dinner plates, seemingly repeating the red and white motif of the dancers’ costumes. Curious, we moved closer, then stopped, aghast. The tree, all 60 or so feet of it, was made entirely of plastic, and each red and white disk, was an advert for Coca-Cola!

BASIL SAVIDGE WILL NO LONGER BE SENDING CHRISTMAS CARDS by Michael McKenna

BASIL SAVIDGE WILL NO LONGER BE SENDING CHRISTMAS CARDS

Michael McKenna

Basil was a retired civil servant. He had steadily risen through the ranks and various grades and had ended his career in a position of some importance.
He lived comfortably enough in north London and had never been tempted to marry. A man of modest habits and appetites. Despite his desire to live a ‘singular life’ Basil had many friends and no family as such, apart from a cousin who lived in Western Australia.

It was early December and as was his custom at the weekend he went for a walk on Hampstead Heath. Inclement weather never interrupted this routine and that particular day the weather was truly inclement. It must have had an impact on his mood because when he returned home he felt strangely cantankerous. Not at all the mind set of a person looking forward to the forthcoming festive season. He felt the need to make a stand, a gesture to counteract the burgeoning ‘on-set’ of meaningless Christmas celebrations and offers. For many years Christmas had become one long excuse for blatant commercialisation. And Christmas cards and their sending seemed to exemplify that situation. The beneficiaries (Charity shops apart) were the card designers, retail outlets and of course the Royal Mail.

As he dwelt gloomily on this state of affairs he experienced an increasingly ‘Bah Humbug’ feeling engulfing him. Several days earlier he had retrieved his Christmas card list and now he fetched it from his study. There were sixty three names on the list. He studied it carefully and realised that some fifty of the names were people he only communicated with once a year. They were to put it simply – Christmas card people!  Contact long lost and now maintained only as a matter of custom and practice. Indeed he wasn’t even sure how many were still alive.

He remembered with distaste that three of the people on his list insisted on including with their card an annual family update. This often lengthy letter detailed all the happenings and achievements of their respective families. He had never met half the children, parents or assorted people mentioned.

“Why do people think anyone is interested in the minutiae of their dull lives?”

Basil was definitely not.

He had two friends who lived in Scotland and they came from devoutly religious backgrounds and at least always sent cards that had an appropriate Christmas subject and message. Snowmen, robins and reindeer seemed to make up the balance of what was on offer.

In that moment Basil decided to make a stand against the ever increasing momentum of naked commercialisation. His one last message to ‘all readers’ would be to tell them he would no longer be sending Christmas cards.

PLEA TO 2020 by Judith Ingman

PLEA TO 2020

Judith Ingman

We approach our new year
With some hope, but grave fear
as we reflect back onto 2019.
Will there be more humanity,
or further greedy insanity
more rampant than ever we’ve seen?

Homelessness lurking,
food banks for those working
and the poorest still struggling to survive.
Whilst the few, with much stealth
protect closely their wealth,
can real hope for the many arrive?

BUT.
For those of us coping
please, let’s carry on hoping
that soon, we can all share in the plenty.
So, roll out this year
let our needs be quite clear
as we welcome for us ALL, 2020.

ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY by Sue Watkinson

ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY

Sue Watkinson

I chose this picture of a young angel.  My colleagues say I’ve written a story for children so, with no apologies at all, here is ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’.

The angels had completed their tasks.  They had polished and positioned the star in the midnight blue sky, directly over the dirty stable at the back of the inn.  They had visited the shepherds, rousing them from their slumbers and reassuring them there was nothing to fear.  Instructions had been given for the men to hasten down to Bethlehem.   After a short break the angelic host would be off to find the three Wise Men who lived in lands far away.

Sebastian, one of the senior angels, was accompanied by Angelique, his wife and their young daughter.  Celeste was still in Angel Primary School but she was a bright little thing, top in flying lessons: excellent in singing with a sweet high voice.  While the main host was instructing the shepherds, Angelique had taken her down to the stable to find the new baby Jesus.  They had promised not to be more than a few minutes.

Celeste was tired, it had been a long journey and now she had to fly all the way back to the heavens.  Maybe Dad would take her in his arms?  But just now she wanted a little rest and the new baby looked so cosy in the hay.  She slipped away from her mother’s hand and lay down alongside Him.  Her eyes closed and she relaxed, stroking the tiny fingers and pressing her cheek against his.

Celeste, come with me, now’, breathed her mother, ‘Make haste or we’ll be left behind’.  Celeste didn’t hear.  She was enjoying this private moment with the Christ Child.  She snuggled closer and the pink mouth suddenly opened and gave a cry.  His mother Mary turned to the manger and began to soothe her new son startling the little angel, who began to rise awkwardly on her downy wings.  Celeste’s tiny halo slipped and fell onto the baby’s head.

‘Come quickly Celeste, the Angelic Host is waiting, Gabriel‘s impatient to be gone.’  Angelique grabbed her daughter’s hands and was about to fly when she noticed the halo was missing.

‘You can’t go back to heaven without a head covering, oh whatever will Gabriel say?’

Quickly, she picked some white flowers from the bush outside the stable door,  tucked them into the golden curls and flew up and away.  Mary and Joseph felt the gentle wind as they rose.  Baby Jesus, peaceful again, lay in Mary’s arms, the halo gleaming in the darkness, as a young shepherd boy ran breathlessly into the stable yard, shouting back to the older men behind him.

‘He’s here, just like the Angels said, it’s a miracle.’

Sebastian, worried about his family, was dawdling at the back of the host as they prepared to leave.  He heard his wife calling and saw the anxious mother and tired daughter, struggling to catch up.  He reached down with strong arms and tucked Celeste close.  Taking Angelique by the hand, he pulled her up swiftly.

‘Oh Sebastian, she’s lost her halo, I saw it fall on the baby in the manger, whatever will Gabriel think, can we get a replacement?’  Angelique was more than a little frightened of the formidable chief angel.

Sebastian looked down at the dark earth and marvelled at the golden glow surrounding the old stable shed, then smiled.

‘She looks pretty with those flowers in her hair.  I think she’s given baby Jesus a most wonderful gift.  Our little Celeste has helped the light to shine in the world.  Gabriel is going to be proud of her.’

ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS by Ann Henders

ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS

Ann Henders

The face of the woman haunted me all over the Christmas break. She all but barged into me as I came around the corner, propelled by a sudden gust of wind and stinging hail at my back. She was rubbing the third finger of her left hand and muttering,

“Bloody Christmas”.   We did that ridiculous thing were you both move in the same direction in order to pass the other then do exactly the same thing in the opposite direction. Usually this daft manoeuvre ends with both parties laughing at each other but not this time. I smiled, she scowled and strode past me. A few steps further on I noticed the grubby door of an old fashioned pawn shop and I filled in the gaps for myself.

This was late afternoon on 23rd of December. I had finished work for the holiday and jumped the train into town for some last minute bits and pieces. I wandered the shops, all my main shopping was done, I was just looking for a couple of last minute stocking fillers for the children. Make up, jewellery, silly games that would amuse for five or ten minutes at the dinner table. I finally turned to make my way back to the station. Then, of all things, I saw her again. Black padded jacket, skinny jeans, blonde hair. She was heading towards Primark. Don’t ask me why but I followed her. It was, of course, crowded in there. School had finished so it was loud with tired, fractious, childish voices. The store assistants managed to look bored and busy at the same time. My woman headed to the children’s department. She looked along several racks before selecting a couple of pretty, girl’s outfits, socks and underwear. She moved on to jackets but only bought one. Was that all her money would stretch to? On her way to the checkout she paused to look at pyjamas before continuing.

I’d never been into Primark before always assuming that anything so cheap would be shoddy beyond belief and of course I knew all the ethical arguments about fast fashion but, in truth, I was impressed by what I saw and there were plenty of people filling baskets. I was even tempted by some of the Harry Potter merchandise. My blond haired woman was now wandering rather aimlessly in the toy section. What to do? Should I do anything? Why was I bothered? Well, it was Christmas and weren’t we suppose to reach out and do good at Christmas?  Isn’t that the message that comes upon the midnight clear? I remembered my own mother, struggling to make ends meet. Once summer was over she bought saving stamps every week at the local shops as well as buying a tin of salmon or ham when she could afford it to hide at the bottom of her wardrobe and she was in auntie Betty’s tontine all year round so that for me, when Christmas came it was a time of unusual plenty and luxury, a world of Warnincks Advocaat, After Eight Mints and dates. It was only many years later that I understood the effort that had taken. And now, for my family, what did it take to make Christmas special, when an average Sunday roast is better than anything my mum could ever hope to put on the table?

She headed to the tills and I fell in behind her, picking up a five pack of ladies knickers for £4.99, (surely a bargain) as a cover. She took her purse out of her left jacket pocket and I was close enough to notice the band of paler skin on the third finger of her left hand. She’d worn that ring for a long time. I fumbled inside my purse, I had two £20 notes. I folded them and tried to slip them into her pocket but I was clumsy and she spun to face me as the notes fell to the floor.

“Hey!  What are you up to, trying to rob me”

Almost instantly,  the crowd around me turned nasty, they snarled at me,

“Scum! Bitch!”

Security staff came running, I stood speechless while sweat soaked the back of my blouse.

“What’s going on?” The crowd were suddenly quiet, I felt I was about to make my final speech from the scaffold. I addressed my words to my blonde lady.

“Look, I saw you take your purse out of your pocket and the money fell to the floor I was just trying to slip it back into your pocket.”

“But I didn’t have £40 in my pocket, I know exactly how much money I’ve got. What are you up to?” At that moment I heard the voice of an angel, clear, like music to my ears.

“She’s telling the truth, I saw her put the money in the lady’s pocket then it fell out” everyone turned to look at the speaker, a little dark haired lad who shrugged and buried his face in his mum’s coat. I was still being held in the steady gaze of the blonde woman. I saw recognition dawn in her eyes.

“Do you know what, it’s ages since I wore this jacket, maybe that money was in there, yeah, thanks for that”. Deprived of any further drama the crowd went back to shopping and queuing.

“What was all that about?” she said quietly.

“I saw you leave the pawn shop, you looked. … sad … desperate.  I felt I should try and help you, I’m sorry, I didn’t do it too well.”.

“You did well enough. You’re right.  I am sad and desperate but I’ll pick myself up, this time next year me and the girls will be fine. We’ll get over it.”

“About the money    …        I hope you’re not offended?”

“No, I’m not offended. I’ll keep the money, it’ll pay for our Christmas dinner and I promise you that when I’m back on my feet I’ll pass it on to someone else who needs it”

By this time we were at the head of the queue. No time for anything more, just a hug. As we went our separate ways she called out to me.

“My name’s Mary, what’s yours?”

“Gabrielle,” I replied.


Christmas Ideas from the u3a National Office

The u3a National Website has gone remotely festive! In particular, you will find seasonal activities under the u3a National Programmes heading.

For starters, there are some great ideas for Christmas Crafts to try out. Photos of cards, decorations and other surpises have been sent in by u3a members from around the country and published on the Make it! Made It! webpage. You might like to send a card or other crafty idea of your own to the National Office.  Let us know if you get it published!

Another project is Winter Watch which generates a gallery of lovely seasonal photos sent in by u3a members. Again, do let us know if you get one added to their gallery.

If you are looking for a Quiz to entertain your ‘bubble’ over the Christmas season, or are running a Zoom Quiz for your friends and family, look no further that the Weekly Quizzes section.  Answers provided there as well.


Cheers to Next Year

As we see this year out,
I haven’t a doubt,
We shall view it as a time of great grief.
It’s clearly academic,
We’ve all suffered in this pandemic
So, to next year we look ahead with relief.

As Winter grows colder,
Our hopes become bolder
That Covid in the world no more thrives.
We can unmask our fear
Herald in the new year
And look forward to reliving our lives.

But let’s not forget
And I don’t mean to upset
But we do have to honour Planet Earth
To tend it with love and respect
It’s so vital to reflect
So we know and understand its great worth.

And let’s just remember
From January to December
The many lessons that this year has impressed.
To be outside in the fresh air
To help those who need Care
And to honour our beloved NHS.

Judy Ingman 27. 11. 2020.


Our Chairman, Alan Starkie, sent this video message to all members – just click on the snow scene (and turn the volume up a bit)


Wishing Good Health and Happiness in 2021 for all Visitors to the Aughton & Ormskirk u3a Website from the Web Team.