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Years ago I had this big dream of getting all 3 dorts together around a Christmas table. A very traditional Christmas with presents in the morning, a slap up lunch and a walk en famille in the afternoon. The evening watching cheesy TV with chocolates and nibbles. Maybe even all 3 parents! I would relish the chance to slave away over a hot stove and look after my brood.

For reasons various, it didn't ever happen.

Yesterday I didn't see a single human being after himself left at 8am. I spoke to Lu and then Mum and Dad and that was it. I watched 2 box sets and 2 movies and ate reheated Christmas Eve leftovers. Mostly with the cats on the sofa. But I appreciate having a warm home, lovely food, and many of the other things people have to go without. It was peaceful. But a bit lonely.

I did have invites, all of them logistically impossible with no car and 2 cats to be fed. The local plans I did have were cancelled a couple of weeks back, and I have lied to people saying I was still going, so nobody felt guilty or sorry for me.

So why did I max out on Crimbo? Why the tree for the first time in 7 years, and the cards? Why so much done for charity? Why yes to all the drinks, dinners and outings? I knew I would be on my own all day, so I thought I would enjoy the lead up, rather than the actual day. I didn't have the picturesque family crimbo you see on the telly. Not did I have a Scottish castle crimbo with a roaring log fire, or the beach crimbo with a barbie. Or a fashionable London crimbo with witty and urbane friends, in fact I've never had any of those. But I have had some bloody good ones over the years. I'm not religious, and I don't believe in Santa any more (sorry!). This is why I did it. Below is a cut n paste post from a humble friend of mine.

As I walked through the rain at Finsbury Park Station, being jostled and pushed by the crowds, I received a message from Tiago. Knowing that I'm a nut for Christmas, him and Sara and Camila and even little Pedrinho had bought fairy lights and strung up over the little wooden house that I grew up in.

Drama and hyperbole aside, I fell apart. As you know, I fucking love Christmas - but it wasn't very present in my childhood. Most years we got a present (I remember the years when I wasn't allowed a present), but we never had a tree nor tinsel nor any of the joys and beauties of Yule. Even as a pathologically imaginative fella, I never conceived of fairy lights or Christmas on the farm.

I fell apart. I started crying, and then I was sobbing, and then I realised I needed to get out of the crowd, and I found a little dark, wet corner in which I curled myself up to let the tears out.

A moment a later a lady, a kind, wonderful lady, gently shook me and asked if I was ok. Between tears I explained that I was fine, I was just letting something out, I'd just seen something that had brought emotions, but honestly, I was safe and I was ok. Instead of walking off she crouched down, and she asked me if I'd like her to sit with me and listen.

That, friends, that is why I love Christmas.

That, friends, that is the Spirit of Christmas.

You see, I think Christmas is a terrible time for may people. There's a lot of pressure to be happy, generous and do wonderful things. It's expensive and takes it's toll in other ways. But the Spirit of Christmas is amazing, and what's more, you can have that on any day, with everybody. So I did what I could, with who I could, when I could.

My big dream hasn't changed. But I have.


Call me Madam

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