It’s nearly here….

The doors are closed keeping the harsh Winter at bay, the twinkling Christmas lights are bringing colour into our homes, and lighting up the excited faces of the children. Soon, they’ll be off to bed, but not necessarily to sleep. There’ll be surely be one or two more visits back down the stairs from them tonight, as the excitement grows. Its an excitement that builds and affects us all, young and old alike, an excitement brought by the thought of those special, memorable moments. Those magical times that come from sharing precious times with the ones we love just don’t happen often enough. Its what families are all about. And its what Christmas is all about.

We live in such a busy world, always somewhere to be, something to do. Lives led through lists and staring at screens, jobs, deadlines and appointments. The every day moments of family life. Its easy to lose sight of what’s really important. Christmas brings us a wonderful yearly opportunity to indulge ourselves, and not just with food, that extra mince pie, another Gin and Tonic or that favourite cheese the diet doesn’t usually allow. Its a magical time because we get to indulge ourselves in spending quality time with the ones we love.

Love, light and laughter come to us at this most special time. We can apply the brakes to our hectic lives, and enjoy the chance to just relax, to breathe, laugh and rest in the comfort of each other’s company.

The madness of the previous weeks is finally behind us, the preparation, the shopping, gifts, cards, school plays and carol services, Work’s Christmas party, the postman, the parcels, and that yearly battle to find the 6 pack of Sellotape we bought in the sale back in January, thinking we were being organised! Its GOT to be somewhere!!! All those busy times fall away, as we realise….its Christmas Eve, and the big day is nearly here.

The music plays and songs are sung, corks pop and glasses clink, games are being played and terrible jokes told. The sights and sounds of happy times surround us while we check one more time that we DEFINITELY have enough chairs for the next day’s feast. Friends and neighbours call in to see us before the big day, leaving yet more presents under the tree. And still, the excitement builds. The fire’s glowing, adding to the ambience, and the air is filled with the warming, welcoming fragrances of spice and citrus cast out across the room, from the gently dancing flames of candles bought especially for moments such as this.

Christmas Eve is still a busy time, there’s always something that needs doing. There are people to look after, glasses to top up, dishes to be washed, and still…that Sellotape to find! But against that backdrop, we take time to look back on the year that’s almost gone, the good times and the bad, the happy and the not so happy times we’ve all experienced. Those quiet moments are also what its all about. Those quiet minutes of reflection when we realise how grateful and lucky we are that we’re all here. Together at last. Together again.

And when everybody’s finally asleep, when everything’s finally done, we switch the lights out, turn the lights off, blow out those wonderful candles, we look forward to the next day, and spending those precious times with one another once more. We look forward to seeing the childrens’ faces, the looks of surprise as loved ones open their gifts, the long indulgent dinner, the groans at the cracker jokes, the bin bags full of gift wrap, the sights, sounds and smells and the light, love and laughter of Christmas Day.

Now….where did I put that Sellotape…..