The most wonderful time of the year has arrived. Is it just me or can you already hear the crunch of ice beneath your feet as you step out onto the front step, or smell the mince pies baking in the oven downstairs? Well, for me, the happiest season is here. It’s not because of the presents, although I do love spending out for my friends and family, normally meaning that I’m broke by the end of the year, and receiving gifts isn’t exactly bad. I’m also not exactly the religious type. There’s just something about the season, the time of year, and the atmosphere that makes Christmas my all-time favourite.
You can’t deny it. Even now, on Christmas Eve, we all still reminisce the little child we once were. The anticipation to see what “Santa” has left, eating away at us until we finally have to give in to counting the sheep in order to fall asleep. Even the many who don’t believe secretly become excited with the idea that the man in red will land on the roof, slide down the chimney and deliver the presents that were on the Christmas list you pretended not to send. Then waking up, hoping it’s seven o’clock, checking your watch, reality smacking you in the face with the news that it is ONLY TWO AM! For the next three hours you debate whether or not you should go and wake up Mum and Dad, then coming to a conclusion that it’s best not to as they have a very stressful day ahead. Finally you hear a floorboard creak and you are out of your bedroom door and downstairs before you are even sure that it was your parents. In many ways, the build up to Christmas day and the anticipation of it is the best part. When it has arrived it can actually turn out to be quite an anti-climax.
All hearts come home for Christmas. Family is the key ingredient to a special Christmas. Yes, I know that Great Aunt Doris can be irritating, and little cousin Jemima just wants to play with you ALL the time. And I still remember the year when Grandpa sneezed brussel sprouts all over the wall; even writing this today, five years on, I am in hysterics. The things that only family will do in order to make the day as magical as possible. Like when my Dad went and got horse manure from the local field early Christmas morning and put it in the garden pretending Rudolph had had a 'wee accident'. Or the time he climbed out onto the balcony roof, sprayed it with fake snow, and left a couple of presents there that Father Christmas had 'dropped' from his sleigh. But really, when it comes to it, nothing beats the closeness of being with people who know you, warts and all, but who still love you all the same.
So when you hear that schmaltzy Christmas song for the fifth time that day, or you receive a Christmas card from people you haven’t even heard from since the last ‘Happy Greetings’ card they sent, just be grateful that we have friends who think of us, family who love us, and a time to share joy around the world.