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Research Bow Festive Special – Part 2

Research Bow Festive Special – Part 2

Welcome back merr-ier readers, to the second part of Research Bow Festive Special. Time for one more sweet treat, and a (hopefully) responsible second mulled wine/cider/tea, to finish off the Festive Feast of PGR creativity.   

The second part of Festive Feast starts off with a palate cleansing tale by Augustus Reid, a delightful dessert of reflection by Ke Shi, and finished off with a sherry glass of silliness by Rhys Maredudd Davies.  


The Night Before Christmas – Through A Child’s Eyes 

Augustus Reid 

Do you mind coming with me? C’mon, let’s take a peek through the untainted, unconditioned, and creative imaginary world of a little child’s eyes. Ok, so to get there, first we must all visit our inner child, yes! You too, and whoever else reads this, and of course I will do this too. Right, now close your eyes! No, hold on, don’t do that, because then you cannot read on, how silly of me! Ok, let us start again, now, go deep into your mind’s eye and imagine walking with me through a garden.  

A garden where rich evergreen trees and holly bushes are nurtured with winters white cotton blankets. In the centre of this garden is where there is a circled pond sealed with the breath of the little cheeky Jack frost. 

Next to this pond is your inner child sitting near some steps, with red woolly mitten gloves, scarf, and a hat, whistling the Snowman song – ‘We are walking in the Air’,  

These steps descend beside and down beneath the pond yet, near the bottom of the steps we can see a light coming from what looks like a gold sheet. However, as your inner child guides us, and we take a few steps down, getting closer, we notice it is a sparkly golden curtain across a doorway and above this doorway is a plaque which reads: The Night Before Christmas – Through a child’s eyes. 

Together we peal back the curtain slightly towards the right, and what peeks through, is a vision of Christmas eve through a child’s eyes. The vision is accompanied by the voice of ‘Morgan Freeman’ as the narrator saying:  

The night before Christmas, I remember lying awake late at night, waiting for my brother to fall asleep and my mother to walk past our bedroom door: a sign she had gone to her bedroom for the night. I would then kneel on my bed with my arms, shoulders and head slouched over my headboard of my bed, which was situated so close to the window that if there was no glass I would of fell outside.  

Nevertheless, if the sky was clear I would kneel there for what seemed like hours, captivated, mesmerised and in awe of the beauty of the unknown: Hoping that the spritz speckles upon the dark canopy near and far, would reveal Santa and his reindeer’s, travelling to make little children’s dreams come alive. 

I hoped I would see the trail of magical Christmas star dust, which the rain deer’s left behind like a car exhaust, just less polluting, as they guilefully pierced through the night sky. Oh…… how I wish I could catch them out, to be the only child on earth, in this galaxy and/ or universe to spot Santa and his rain deer’s doing their good deeds. As these thoughts over spill out of my mind like an oversized melting 99 ice cream ab-sailing down the side of the coned wafer, the excitement lost its battle with sleep, causing the golden curtain and my eyes lids to finally shut.  

I slowly slouched down slithering down my bed board, slotted into my bed encased in my transformer bedding and woke up on Christmas day and the night before Christmas was no more! 

Christmas in China  

Ke Shi 

Twitter: @ke12770081 

In China, Christmas has taken on a uniquely localized flavor, transforming into a celebration with a distinctly different meaning. On Christmas Eve, which has been affectionately dubbed “Ping’an Ye” (a night of peace), there’s a heartwarming tradition among the youth: the exchange of apples. This custom stems from a linguistic coincidence where the Mandarin word for apple, “ping guo,” sounds similar to “ping’an” (peace). Thus, gifting an apple on this night symbolizes wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year ahead. 

But there’s more to it than just well-wishing. For many young people, Christmas Eve has evolved into something akin to Valentine’s Day. It’s a night where they present carefully selected apples to their crushes as an expression of affection. In schools, there’s even a playful comparison of who receives the most apples, turning it into a light-hearted measure of popularity. Capitalizing on this trend, vendors have started selling apples engraved with various designs, causing prices to skyrocket on this particular night.

4 uniqueley decorated chinese christmas apples

Come Christmas Day, while the celebrations in China might not match the scale of festivities in the West, the festive spirit is unmistakably in the air. Streets and malls are adorned with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and decorations, adding warmth and joy to the winter days. It’s a time when young people seize the opportunity to hang out with friends, embracing the chill of winter in a festive mood. 

This version of Christmas is a far cry from traditional Western celebrations, yet it beautifully illustrates the integration of diverse cultures in Chinese society. It’s not just a holiday; it’s a cultural phenomenon that showcases China’s inclusiveness and creativity in embracing foreign cultures. Christmas in China isn’t just a day on the calendar – it is demonstrating the progress of globalization and how different cultures can come together and be embraced in harmony. 

A collage of Chinese decorated Christmas apples.

A Merry Christmust 

Rhys Maredudd Davies 

Twitter: @RhysMaredudd  

[Verse 1] 

Wrap up warm, don’t be chilly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
‘Tis the season to be silly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Make sure to munch the many minced pies
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
More the merrier, that’s our advice
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

[Verse 2]
marking deadlines marching towards us
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Glass of mulled wine, now it’s no fuss
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
So follow me through a merry measure
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
And Yule be grading papers in leisure
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

[Verse 3]
Feast away through turkey dinners
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Growing waistlines are the real winners
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Work your way through all of that cheese
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
Academia’s tough, so do as you please
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la 






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