Many people find it hard to understand why I’m often such a ‘Grinch’ at Christmas. I’m actually not but Christmas for me is, like for so many others, a reality check and a time of reflection.
Apart from the fact Christmas for me has nearly always been ‘work’ as normal, it’s also a collection of vivid memories. Like the man who put his mouth around the barrels of his shotgun on Christmas Day, because he couldn’t take any more. Like the nurse rushing home after a twelve hour shift to spend time with her family but never making it… Killed in an horrific road accident. Like the poor woman trying to scrape a ‘special’ day together for five kids and her alcoholic husband. The one who eventually came home and beat her senseless. Putting her in hospital and the kids into emergency social care. And all this before you even start to think about the myriad sudden deaths, drunken brawls and domestic disputes…
On top of all this we have wars, famine and natural disasters, not to mention events such as the recent and tragic Glasgow bin lorry crash. So please forgive me for being a little less than overtly jovial at this time of year.
It is Christmas Eve and while many people are now on holiday there are still many more who will be working throughout the festive season. With all the rushing, present wrapping and food preparation it is easy to get caught up in your own world. It is only when something happens that it brings home how many people will be working throughout the Christmas time.
This spirit of Christmas is about thinking of others, giving them presents, sending them cards and spending time with loved ones. It should be an opportunity to remember others. It is a time to reflect on what other people have done to help us throughout the year.
The tragic events around the world are brought into sharp focus when everyone is focused on having fun and enjoying themselves. We feel sympathy for the families, friends and relatives of those affected. But often we forget about…
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