By Tim Lazenby
Christmas is upon us. Kids and adults (bus drivers included) everywhere are preparing to give and receive presents. They wait with baited breath to see where their inexperienced parents try and hide them, so they can rattle the festive packaging and try and guess the contents. They write heartfelt letters for presents to an unknown man who lives in the North Pole, claiming best behaviour in all cases. Cards are sent to relatives and friends; we all wait expectantly for at least one card so that we know people love us and we send them to friends we know we should maintain more contact but alas time does not allow.
Sure, it’s a one-time event and yes, we should remember these people more often; I’m sure in most cases we do. This is the one time of the year when everyone has an excuse to eat too much, drink a little too much, play music a little too loudly and sing songs that make very little sense but sound amazing especially when performed by a crowd of people, the reason for which is lost on many of us. In this day and age the whole notion of Christmas as a celebration of a very famous Christian man’s birth, is sadly a moot point. And while the various organisations that subscribe to this ancient tradition do try and keep this great man’s memory alive, it has now become an institution of giving and receiving and also of remembrance of those great people we love and those great people we have lost.
I enjoyed my 3rd Christmas with my Dad, a very distant memory now. Unfortunately, there was to be no 4th, his life being cut short, as is the bent of the universe, in a plane crash in February 1966. So to those of you that think that Christmas should be confined, like so many other things, to a set date and that the festivities, the (early) decorations, the carols, the tinsel, the prayers, the turkey, the cards, the remembrance of those great folk who died for great causes, the drinking, the singing, making new friends, the celebration of old ones, the lights, the fireworks, the time off work, the office parties, the pub, your Mum, your Dad, your daughter, your son, your brother, your sister, your Grandparents and your best friend are inconvenient to your sensibilities. I say, maybe it’s time you let go and joined in – what’s the worst that can happen? You may even enjoy yourself. God forbid!
Illustration: Jessie Turner