image by Scott Sandars


Dear old christmas, here you come again. Has it been that long? I’ve missed your sunny face, your air of mystery, your tinsel, baubles, prawns and chilled wine.

The carolling nights will come with candles or glow sticks or battery operated fake candlesticks lighting the way. Our bums will be numbed by the unforgiving ground and the thin picnic rugs as we sing out those unforgettable songs. Lights will dazzle the houses in our neighbourhood, putting our own decoration attempts to shame. We will “ooooo” and “aaaah” at that small minority that truly loves Christmas; a little too much perhaps? Their electricity grids are consumed by twinkly silver, red, gold, blue lights, some with tales to tell, others with no sense at all.

There will be people on the streets, clinking glasses, wearing ridiculous hats, smiling, laughing, basking in the sun (with their 30+ sunscreen, hat and long sleeves on of course!!! Slip, Slop, Slap.) On the other side of town, there is another dance, a frenetic, fast-paced and emotional one. It is the pre-Christmas shopping parade. Where hefty men tread where they haven’t dared for the last year. There are the ladies with the long lists, scurrying around like mice on speed. They wear the same face, determination with a touch of panic. These days are passing by too quickly.

Then there are the free. Those in the prime of their lives. The young. They have finished their studies for the year. They have vehicles, a little money and a sense of invincibility. These mini-adults are between worlds; the child days (when you’re under the thumb of your parents) and the responsibility days (the thumb then passing to the employers, landlords and tax office.) Those of us in the latter days smile wistfully at the young in their summer prime. This time of freedom will be short-lived but they will remember them, when they one of the ‘responsible’ set.

Tomorrow I start some serious Christmas shopping. I can’t wait. I know I will get there and get frustrated with the crowds, the prices and the endless list. But I grab the opportunity to get the ideal (or close to) present for those lucky enough to be on the list; “THE FAMILY” (said in a New Jersey/ mob accent). It is a day I am alone with my thoughts and my legs can take me wherever I like. My own version of freedom, perhaps.

Then it is on with the home decorating, the Christmas carols (thanks Mariah) and watching the kids get revved up for the big day. There are numerous end of year parties, concerts and picnics to attend as well as some hectic last minute work stuff. I love Christmas. It combines a sense of community with a sense of eternity, what could be better?

image by laneylou