May Christmas bring you love, comfort & joy

Having written a Christmas column for the last 11 years it has reached a stage where it is hard to think of an appropriate and original Christmas message to put out there.

I’m pretty sure I have covered Christmas past, present and future in previous years- everything from the childhood wonder of receiving a pile of goodies from Santa, the like of which you never saw throughout the rest of the year, to the songs which make Christmas special for me.

I’m sure I’ve shared how I firmly believe it to be very odd indeed that people list ‘Fairytale of New York’ as their favourite Christmas song when it is about alcoholism, broken dreams, drug use and most probably domestic violence.

I’m sure I’ve shared the magic of having Santa visiting, and the woes we parents endure trying to make the whole Christmas Eve adventure run like a military operation which would make the SAS proud.

I’ve shared my first Christmas away from home (in the company of my now late father-in-law) and the traditions unique to our family which I hope to pass down through another generation or two.

There is only so much about Christmas which ever changes, but what does stay the same for me each year are the thoughts and wishes I have for those I love.

The song ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ always brings a tear to my eye. My favourite is not the Judy Garland version but Rowlf from the Muppets. John Denver and The Muppets - A Christmas Together was a staple not only of Christmas Day when I was growing up, but of the run-up to the festive season and even to this day, it’s just not Christmas without this song which says all that I could about Christmas.

Of the wishes that all have a peaceful time, that in all the rush and fuss of modern life we all get the chance to take a moment or two to stop, rest, reflect and think about the past and future while at the same time enjoying the here and now.

The wish that our troubles will be out of sight, starting with that one day, where hope surrounds us.

I’m aware there are many people who will find this Christmas difficult, for whom this year has dealt them some pretty harsh blows.

I hope that this year will see them find some peace on Christmas Day, and that the future will be brighter for them and for us all.

Even if just for a moment I hope that Christmas offers you love, joy, comfort and kindness at this special time of year.