It was the day before Christmas

…and Richard was at work. Let me say at work, not particularly working as such. I’m configuring the Collaboration Suite and thinking about the amount of work I have to do the first week back. No matter, I can totally swtich off in a few hours for Chrimbo.

Despite suffering a cold and feeling shattered and quite yuk, we’re still going to have a good time. Most of the pressies are now here, just missing two so far but they are “guaranteed for Christmas Day” so they will just magically appear – more on those bad companies later.

So all is right with the world and things are looking great for tomorrow. I just have to put one big present together and wrap the others, then tomorrow we start cooking. Oh, I also have to go and buy a table protector for tomorrow and some colour coordinated napkins, isn’t life grand.

Watching a programme last night on BBC2 called Grumpy Old Men I was left wandering what is there about Christmas that is actually good? They were quick to put down the commercial aspects and the “things you have to do” in order to comply with what is Christmas. Carol singers; cards to everyone in your address book; buying presents knowing that people won’t like them and supplying them with the receipt, then it’s just the receipt they wanted to exchange them; eating too much; drinking too much; big lights, the list went on and on.

All these things aside what is actually left that makes it such a special day? I suspect it’s something different for everyone, and it’s probably just one or two things that make it the special day.

For me it’s the presents. Not the commercialised side of it, but the getting up in the morning and unwrapping them and being surprised (hopefully well) that your loved ones have found something special for you. It’s also that great big lead up, the finding of something special to give and the buying of them all, and the wrapping (usually on Christmas Eve).

There’s also the big meal, sitting down and enjoying loads of great food and some lovely wine (we have some Barolo in this year, unfortunately I didn’t get the Prosecco in time, I’ll save that for New Year).

I guess there’s also a bit about friends and family, but the joy of the above is that it is about those two groups of people. It’s going to be odd this year for me as it’s the first time I’ll have spent Christmas away from my Parents, instead it will be in the new flat with my Girlfriend and her Parents for the meal.

NEVER worry about cards and stuff – Its just great to hear from you and I (try) never to assess people by the number of times they get in touch……I guess I need a slogan here…something like “A friend is a friend even if you don’t hear from them for a few weeks….they are still a friend” or something
A friend at Xmas

A friend said this to me today, when I apologised for forgetting a card, and they are spot on, it’s exactly how I feel. A real friend is a friend no matter how long it takes for you to get back in touch, or however many events you miss, etc. A true friend is someone who accepts you for what you are and aren’t.

I guess that’s really easy for me to say as I’m not the best model of a friend, I’m forgetful, late, and can be stubborn as a brick. Yet I always like to think of the sentiments of the above and hope that I can practice it as well as I preach it.

Still, the whole holiday has lost a lot of its allure for me now, it still held a lot even after I’d moved out and gone my own way in life, but it’s definitely not what it used to be. The same can be said for New Year. We are again going to spend that at home, just the two of us, enjoying a drink, games and movies. It’s interesting how that becomes appealing, not as you get older, but as you move on in the stages of life. Settled, that’s the word, flat and someone to share it all with.

So with that, may you all have a very merry Christmas, whatever that word means to you, and a most enjoyable New Year. Let’s remember those who we would class as true friends and we maybe haven’t been in touch with as much as we’d like, or haven’t heard from them in a long time, they’re still true friends. With them, remember those who are struggling through life at the moment, especially in some of the more troubled parts of the world.

Then turn your mind to those around you on these days and enjoy what you have and forget all the rubbish happening in life. Just enjoy.

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