And a Happy Hāligdæg to you, one and all.

And a Happy Hāligdæg to you, one and all.

‘Christmas is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.’

Freya Stark; explorer and travel writer (1893 -1993): ‘The Wise Men’

With only a few days left before Christmas, at Waterfront Charters we have been celebrating a return to more ‘normal’ years; the pre-Covid December holidays. Despite the threat of the Omicron variant, life at the V&A Waterfront has been hectic; it would take a very seasoned eye to spot any difference between pre-virus crowds and current crowds. This past Saturday we hosted one of our famed Clifton Yacht Parties; just getting to the boat through the throngs was an event in itself. Social distancing is tricky when you are surrounded by a happy mob – a timeous reminder to all that we are still not in the clear: keep those masks on and your hands sanitised regularly.

One of our aims at Waterfront Charter is to keep our guests happy. As noted in previous blogs, we have a range of special offers that are specifically in place to make recreation affordable to all who have suffered under the pandemic’s whip. We are continually adding new specials to our list of cruises; a quick check on the website will show you that we just have discounted our very popular RIB (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat, for those who may not be up to date on nautical acronyms) Table Bay excursions. More on this subject next week, but for now just take note that both the 30 minute Bay Experience and 60 minute Ocean Safari Adventure have been greatly reduced in costs: absolutely ideal for an exciting family holiday excursion.

And talking of holidays…one wonders what to call this time of year these days. Personally, I think that ‘the Christmas Season’ is absolutely acceptable; after all, you don’t have to follow any particular creed to acknowledge it’s existence. As a human race of wildly varying beliefs, backgrounds and ceremonies, it behoves all of us to be tolerant and, of course, expect tolerance in return. Beginning in the mid-20th century the Christian-associated Christmas holiday and liturgical season became increasingly commercialized and central to American economics and culture while religio-multicultural sensitivity rose; Christmas certainly moved from a religious commemoration to a far more generic time of festivity and giving. By the late 20th century, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and the new African American cultural holiday of Kwanzaa began to be considered in the U.S. as being part of the ‘holiday season’, and the original ‘twelve days of Christmas’ was being been subsumed. Some serious consideration was given by the more politically-correct to have the period renamed as ‘the Festive Season’, or more ironically, ‘the Holiday Season’. We say ironically, as the word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg, meaning Holy Day; (hālig “holy” and dæg “day”.)

So whilst seemingly getting away from the denominations of Western Christianity, where the term ‘Christmas season’ is considered synonymous with Christmastide, it was retitled ‘The Holy Day Season’. Not much difference, we suggest. Although it must be admitted that the word ‘holiday’, like so many English words, has come a long way from its original meaning. When you tell someone that you are going to Cape Town for your holidays and Waterfront Charters cruises, it highly unlikely that that the original meaning is your intent. In America you have a vacation; in the United Kingdom and the English-speaking Southern Hemisphere you go on holiday.

Whatever your beliefs, we at Waterfront Charters wish everyone: guests, friends, future guests, staff and crew members, our business partners and V&A friends – in short, just about everybody on planet Earth – a very happy and peaceful Christmas/Festive/Holiday season. It’s been a tough few years for the planet and its occupants, and we hope that we have managed to put the sparkle back into the lives of those we have carried aboard our boats. We look forward to an ever-improving world in the coming year, and remind you again that it is up to us all to support each other on this journey back to something resembling a normal life.

Merry Christmas; Happy Hanukkah; a Cheerful Kwanzaa; a memorable time of celebration to all of you. May your holidays be blessed with joy. You can add to that joy by giving a loved one a Waterfront Charters Gift Voucher too! Simple to organise and they can be personalised for that special message.