I love Christmas.  Always have, always will but …   Why is it that every year, time gets shorter and life gets more exhausting?  The tree is still a work in progress.  The lights are on – tempting to leave it like that – but we are talking basics here!  Today’s task.  I have forgotten to buy crackers – every year!  Why is that?  What does that say?  I suppose the fact that I only like traditional tartan ones is more than a problem in this day and age unless, of course, I choose to spend Christmas at the Fife Arms in Braemar, a favourite of Dame Judi Dench!  Note to self, befriend her.  After all, we have so much in common: a love of Shakespeare, the late Geoffrey Palmer … and, faculties intact, a keen sense of humour.  Failing that, I am not averse to carrying her bags!

For next year …  For now, the tree is finally decorated.  I hate the pinky hue of  the LED antique white lights but there seems no escaping.  The cards have trickled in from those who matter and all that remains is to replenish the fridge, both food and alcohol.  The rain can be heard on the window as I type, the voices of Manny, Becca and Alice below me.  Family, old friends and a time of reflection.  Christmas in a nutshell.  Still magical ..

Once I believed in Santa, that it would all fall into place
But that was then and this is now, he’s gone and so’s my faith.
Or is it?  Listen! I love this song, it takes me right back when
Two little boys had two little toys and I’m a child again.

The magic is in the music, the songs which transport you back
To fairy lights, snow and gentler times when nothing did we lack.
Noddy shouts ‘It’s Christmas!’ and, suddenly, the world is alight
For it’s the memories which sustain you, make everything alright.

So, Christmas is still magical, close your eyes and you will hear
‘Merry Christmas, war is over’, it’s the end of a horrible year.
The sleigh bells, they are jingling, the song I hold so dear
Wham, ‘Last Christmas”, I give you my heart, now and for all of my years.

An excerpt from ‘Still Magical”
A Voice Outwith the Crowd
December 2020

In a word … or several.  All that remains is to wish each and every one of my readers – however near, however far – a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year (prosperous wouldn’t go amiss, either!).  To 2024 and the year of my bestseller/future mini-series, fame and fortune … in other words, karma!

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering “It will be happier” …’

Alfred Lord Tennyson

This is Trish, signing off.