The child is born and hope wins over darkness, joy triumphs over despair and across the world for even just one day, we believe in something better, for ourselves, for our world.
I have spoken to my family to the point they have nothing left to say to me. I sit with my housemates and our adopted brother and parents, my Christmas pyjamas on at 2 in the afternoon. I will dress for dinner.
There is no denying the hard moments haunting many hearts in the past 24 hours in Banff. Perhaps those most homesick were those who didn’t expect it and there it was, as Christmas Eve turned to Christmas Day, that sinking feeling that they were far from where their soul felt they should be.
What is heart-warming as well as a little heart-breaking is the strong realisation that it is not about place, but people. When people tell about their Christmas customs, there is no mention of the size of the fire place or the view of the beach. Nobody has discussed the quality or quantity of gifts. They talk about who makes breakfast and who they spend lunch with. They talk sadly about estranged family and excitedly about the kids. They recall their parents, their grandparents, their cousins, second cousins, cousins who are not actually related. They talk about the food they eat and how their mother cooks it best.
This is what Christmas boils down to, whether or not you go to church or not. The decoration is just like that on the Christmas Cake, it looks good but lies at the side of the plate as we savour the rich fruit cake. We stop. We enjoy. Together.
Happy Christmas folks.