“That time of year…”

So it’s that time of year again. Festive, log fires, hot chocolate, hot toddies, big roasts, gatherings of family and friends alike. A good excuse to be over indulgent and actually get away with it!!! “It’s Christmas …”

For most folks, including myself to a certain extent its fun, frolics and fantasy. We can pretend currant affairs don’t exist for a couple of days. We gather round our fires, put on joyful music, party with friends and family and look forward to a new year. A new year where resolutions will be made and stuck to till January 2nd. Ahhh, tis the season to be jolly!!!

My Christmas planning starts in September. Yes, plan, do, review!!!! I make mincemeat for the all important mince pies. I soak my fruit for a cake, then make the cake and feed it till I ice it!!! Menu planning and presents are usually done, bought wrapped and labelled by mid October. Cards ticked off the list too. The invites are out for visitors during this splendid occasion. It all sounds organised but, and there’s a big but… Come December its all got to fit into place… More of plan, do, review!!!

Usually it all fits nice and snug into place. However I always worry that there’s the one time it won’t. Its all in the hands of whoever. So I close my eyes and pray!!!

Most folks have this to do. We all have 364 days to plan this gigantic event!!! So, as I walk down the high street a week before the day, do I observe people, pushing, pulling, complete and utter rudeness to be next in the line? Why do I see humans falling out over whose turn it is to have Granny? Why when people complain constantly all year they have no money, suddenly spending as if the lotto had paid out on a rollover?

Ahh, ti’s the season to be jolly and what a jolly lot we are…

STOP, stop right there… Breathe and pause. What is it all about? Its a wonderful, simply wonderful season. If and only if we allow it to be. Shhh, quiet, listen can you hear children excitedly getting ready to see Father Christmas? Can you open your eyes and see lights everywhere in celebration of glad tidings? Can you smell Christmas treats being prepared? Can you hear the joyful carol singers? Shhh, just a little longer, you may hear people laughing, having a wonderful time, bells jingling. The starry, starry night sky as we wait on the eve of the big day for Rudolph to fly by carrying the main man with our long awaited gifts. The doors of hospitality open and friends and family gather, all expectations come together. This is surely what it’s all about.

We get lost in our own lives at this time of year. After the hustle and bustle of all the above; how many of us spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves? It is a wonderful time of the year, if you’re not alone. If you have a home to call your own. If you can afford it or at least afford to go into debt for it. Its marvellous if you can plan for friends and family, even Granny!!! It is a big world out there. It costs nothing to love. To share a smile, to put an extra tin or two into a food bank knowing some people would love that tin as much as a child adores their new bike. It’s not only the season of bells and holly. It’s a season of compassion and warmth, to bring this uneven world together. To love each and everyone whomever they maybe. To reach out and be thankful. After all goodwill to all men.

Just one small gesture could make a lonely person’s year… Are you willing to put the true meaning of Christmas into practice? I wonder?

Yuletide greetings to one and all…

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