And so this is Christmas

Christmas Eve, unseasonably mild weather, other than the wind putting a sharp edge on the mild temperature. Whether you believe or not, the next couple of days are arguably the most eagerly awaited, most planned for, and often most wonderful days of the Calendar. On the flip side, they are also, for some, the most, dreaded, hated and worst days of the year. which ever side of the line you’re on, what these days represent is a message of hope, that as one year draws to a close, the symbol of a baby born to bring light into the world is still a powerful one, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for redemption, hope for a better year to come, hope for change.

Yesterday two lovely people got married, I’ve not known John and Maria for long but we’ve become good friends, and Maria in particular has been a great support and source of encouragement through the dark days that I have had so far. Today ( Maria’s birthday as it happens ) they begin their new life together, side by side to travel onward in their continuing journey, as yesterday I wish them a lifetime filled with happiness, joy and love.

As I look to the next few days, I realise that I am one of the lucky ones, I’ll spend the next three days in the company of loving friends and family, and if there’s anything that gives me hope, it’s any time spent with those precious people. After what was a rollercoaster of a week, veering from flashes of great joy, to an increase in moments of despair that left me worrying that I had gone back to square one, the last two days have been better, I feel a sense of greater calm, and I hope that maybe I have turned a corner. Brighter days are , I hope, just around the corner. There are those who aren’t so lucky, who will be alone these next couple of days, those who are mourning a loss, those who have nowhere to live, if we get the chance, try to reach out to them, even if it’s just a call or visit to say hello, wish them a merry Christmas, and let them know that they at in your thoughts.

So, as we prepare ourselves for the visit of Santa Claus, and the days of indulgence where our most used phrases will be “Oh, go on then I’ll have another” and “yeah, why not? It’s Christmas” to the point that our trouser buttons feel set to burst, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, I hope that every one who reads this will have a reason tomorrow to have joy, hope, happiness and peace. The greatest gifts I have been given this Christmas are your love and support, and I am so very thankful for you all. I love you all, and I hope that next Christmas finds us here again, happy, healthy and wiser.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

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