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When I returned to a Christmas in Newcastle after living and working abroad, the first thing I noticed was how small everything looked - in my memory somehow it had been stored as this big grand place with monuments and towering buildings and epic natural features. It was like the Christmas of my childhood.
But with the passage of time, that distance had eroded the memories to the point that on seeing them for the first time since returning from Europe - everything had a kind of hometown intimacy. I truly felt like I had returned back home to Newcastle - that being a Novocastrian was definitely part of my identity.
Christmas and Giving Presents and Gifts in Newcastle
CHRISTMAS TIME is a time of frenetic acquisition - we move around consuming parties and gatherings and people with pace, as though there is some crazy deadline to get in as much as we can before we settle down at some family home for the Christmas Day luncheon.
And in all the hustle and movement in Newcastle 2300 we can too easily forget those who live with the struggle of poverty, lack of opportunity and sheer hopelessness. Even donating a Gift to a Toy Run is something in the right direction. It is these people who should not be forgotten whilst we all gorge on unwanted mince pies, or leave half drunk bottles of beer at backyard barbeques.
I urge you all to go out and get involved in some small way with those less fortunate - even if it is only dropping a few coins into a buskers hat. Just give something away to a fellow Novocastrian and see how you feel - it can be a curious sensation indeed.