On Friday night our home town has its ‘Lights Switch on’, which has always been an evening that I have enjoyed – the main street becomes pedestrianised, all the shops stay open late and offer snacks and a glass of wine to thank us for our custom through the year and most of the residents wrap up warm to mingle, so it is an opportunity to see people that I do not often see. We regularly meet Joshua’s peers that he used to go to school with and as they are now teenagers, it will be interesting to see this year if they acknowledge him, as they have done in the past, or whether sadly, finally they have outgrown him. Of course the chances are that I, let alone Joshua, will no longer recognise them either as they will have grown more into adults and resemble the children that I knew less and less.
It is Thanksgiving today in the USA and ,although it is not a festival we celebrate, the retailers seem to have jumped on ‘Black Friday’ sales ,which I will not be partaking in. I had my first work Christmas lunch yesterday, although we did not eat turkey or pull crackers, but it was a sociable get together with one of my teams and a client that we do not often meet up as a group. We had good fun and topped ourselves up on team spirit.
I am usually one of those ‘Bah Humbug’ people who say that I will not discuss Christmas until December 1st at the earliest, but for some reason, this year I have already completed much of my Christmas shopping, which I find a little unsettling to be honest. But as the 25th of December approaches, I might well be glad of this year’s efficiency and I may well be converted to become an earlier shopper. The gifts are stacking up in our spare room, Joshua is oblivious to that, so I do not need to worry about hiding them away so that Santa can deliver them on Christmas Eve, he does not really have the capacity to believe or disbelieve. But this surprising efficiency does not mean that the cards will be written anytime soon or that the decorations are going up, although I may switch on our own external lights to coincide with Friday’s Switch On, as they are still wrapped around the tree from last year , so there is a good chance that they will not still be working now, after a year of being blasted by the elements.
So a month today, it will be Boxing Day and so it will all be over, which given the fuss and expenditure that will take place between then and now, is quite a sobering thought.