Christmas has come late this year.
Well, strictly it comes on the same day every year, but I’m normally well and truly full of the joys and anticipation by mid November. I worked in retail for many years, both at the coal face of the Tesco deli counter and checkouts and in a head office based role where we were planning Christmas from February.
This year is the first year I will be putting up my tree on Christmas Eve. I made a start a few weeks ago, and bought new decorations at the beginning of the month.
And they have sat unopened in my spare room.
Crazy weeks in the day job and even crazier concert preparations meant there was just not enough time to squeeze everything in, and I bought the last of my presents yesterday.
My concert went really well, and among the feedback was that it was the first time some people had felt really Christmassy. I certainly did, playing some of my favourite Christmas music while dressed rather festively in red and gold.
Sometimes I can’t believe how different things are this Christmas. Many things are the same – the anticipation of lots of good food, drink and a few days off work, joy because my granny is still here and I can get down to see her. Knowing I will see my parents in January.
But this year there is a sense of peace within me. A lot of bad things happened this year, but I’ve survived them and have drawn a lot of strength from within myself and from others who have helped me along the way.
The knot of tension that had been sitting, gnawing, twisting, at the bottom of my stomach has gone. I didn’t know it had been there until it went, and then I understood why I had been feeling the way I had been feeling for so long.
Once I understood this, my confidence and faith in myself returned, almost as quickly as it had gone away.
I’m so excited about the New Year. Santa seems to have brought me something incredibly special this year.
Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and if they do, it’s not always in the Christian way.
There are many more generic ways to wish someone well at this time of year, but I saw a very mixed bunch of very young kids of different colours and faiths singing carols outside Tescos on Sauchiehall Street last year. I’ll never forget the happiness they shared, dressed up in tinsel, baubles, antlers etc. To them it probably didn’t really matter why, they were just singing songs with their friends.
I’m out for an early run with my present from Santa, then I’m off to play for Christmas Dinner at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Once I’m home, I’ll be curling up with a GnT, some smoked salmon, a couple of ageing greyhounds, Coronation Street and Downton Abbey.
Thanks for reading my blog, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.