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Comfort and joy!

Dec 26, 2017

So finally and inexorably we enter into the dark days – and I don’t mean this metaphorically, but quite literally. We have reached that time of the year when light seems to evaporate and we feel like hunkering down like dormice. The season of mists, etc.  

I know that The Mover is published throughout the world and that you might live in an environment which includes relentless blue skies, but here in the UK it’s really a time for taking stock; it’s our cosy time and frankly nothing does ‘cosy’ as much as a cold, windy, rainy, snowy day. It’s a time for not feeling guilty about being indoors watching TV, reading a book, doing a jigsaw, accompanied by a glass of red wine and the all-pervasive smell of a slowly cooking stew. 

Yes of course it’s also a time for crisp walks and for kicking over the last of the fallen leaves and for being amazed that the lawn, which you thought you’d cut for the last time two weeks ago, already needs cutting again. Now is the time when the fickle season of autumn finally gives way to uncompromising winter – and I have a suspicion that most of us secretly love it. 

Yes I know there are those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which can be quite debilitating; and it can’t be much fun for the sick and homeless for whom we must spare a thought, but for most of us I think that a dose of semi-hibernation works very well. 

Then of course, to carry us through this time, there is Christmas - and I must confess that it never seems quite the same if we have a warm sunny Christmas day (see ‘cosy’ above) - but of course in those parts of the world where Christmas takes place under very warm conditions I am sure that people adapt in their own particular way and have their own form of cosiness. 

According to a number of our local shops, Christmas officially started at the end of October, but normally a couple of days before the 25th - with a typical application of Parkinson’s law - I am still scrabbling around in the nearby High Street looking for a gift for the lady wife. Which, I might add, I normally end up paying through the nose for and which I will find in the back of a wardrobe some years later.  

Suitable gifts can be a real problem at this time of year. I came from quite a large family and there was a bottle of Old Spice aftershave which must have gone through a large number of Christmases when, each year, it was received with thanks and then, in due course, passed on to someone else the next year. It was almost like a form of currency and in the end it became a family joke. 

But for most of us the whole Christmas experience is a wonderful one and it is a time when cosiness reaches its peak. I particularly like the comment that it’s a time for children young and old and it’s a great time for meeting up with family and friends and either playing extremely silly games (enjoy) or clustering around the TV watching the nation’s favourite programme (not keen).  

I suppose in amongst all of this we must have a ‘humbug’ moment, and here’s one. I really do not like turkey. I realise that this is a poultry comment (a poor joke being a mixture of a pun and a malapropism!). I have always found that turkey is the most bland and unappetising of meats and which to my mind is the turkey’s way of punishing us for ruining its Christmas. I always hide mine under the Brussels sprouts which … never mind! 

Anyway, apart from the odd aversion, for most of us this is a very happy time and it’s a suitable moment for searching out that box of Turkish Delight which nobody has ever eaten and which qualifies for a place on The Antiques Roadshow. I’m also pleased to say that religion still plays its very important part at this time of year and the goodwill that it brings ensures that we can lose ourselves in an oasis of goodwill; free from the tribulations of the real world. There’s no need to go to a pantomime, just simply turn on the news! 

Of course the added bonus for many of us is that the Christmas break now seems to last for an eternity, I can just about remember the time when, if Christmas or Boxing day fell on a weekend then it was simply tough luck and you would not get an additional day in lieu. 

So finally, may I take this opportunity of wishing you and yours a very happy and relaxed Christmas (even if, for some, that might mean standing on top of a mountain somewhere) and of course a happy and prosperous New Year. I will just leave you with one last thought: Do Eskimos have an alternative version of ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’?  Keep cosy

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