Festive flurry hits final countdown

Tiring times: Even little angels get worn out
Tiring times: Even little angels get worn out
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Let’s get things in perspective.

Santa will be here in five days and, OK I’ve got a million things still to do, but couldn’t it be oh so much worse.


Think back.

Well back – before the time when everybody was worried about getting the Christmas shopping done.

I realise taking the time to think about any one thing is a luxury round about now but give it a go.

I’m talking about when there was no worrying about not having enough to spend or enough time to spend it in.

Travelling by donkey makes even the most over-crowded Supertram look like absolute luxury.

Compare the traffic jams as you slowly make your way down Ecclesall Road to what it must have been like travelling to Bethlehem with no wheels in sight.

Those were the days when having to be in the right place at the right time didn’t mean juggling work with school nativities and sports club parties.

The original knocking on doors in desperation wasn’t even about trying to locate which neighbour had been kind enough to take in a parcel while you were out.

After all, overcrowded shopping centres are nowhere near as bad as stables crammed with animals.

It seems this philosophical outlook is spreading through my family.

As I dragged the kids through Tudor Square on route from one shop to another, my eldest son looked skyward as it began to rain and spotted the statue of Vulcan.

“At least I’m not naked and stood on top of the Lyceum,” he quipped. “It must be colder up there.”

See, mercies come in all shapes and sizes at this time of year.

The modern Christmas is infamous for being a time of little peace and harmony as relatives of all ages bicker, nag and groan.

But your own personal family dilemmas must fade into insignificance if you imagine what is was like being poor Mary.

How would your other half take it if you suddenly announced you were pregnant – no it isn’t your baby but fear not, I haven’t cheated on you.

The glares over the turkey would have been unbearable.

Back then there wouldn’t have been any huge piles of wrapping paper and toy boxes to deal with – but at least that saved her the trouble of dealing with fortnightly bin collections.

There was no panic over making sure each electronic present had the right sort of batteries – just a star and even today newborns are happily mesmerised by any bright light.

Good job the baby didn’t have any older siblings though.

There was nothing free yet entertaining like the Blackpool Illumination figures which my kids love visiting in the Peace Gardens.

Although, I imagine a stable full of animals would have kept them quiet for a while.

So as you finish your cup of tea and get ready for the next onslaught, share a festive smile.

There is just that final push, no not the baby in a stable type but today’s hectic whirl of shopping, cooking and yes socialising.

Cranberries, bread sauce and chestnuts. It is the only time of year everyone goes all out for accompaniments no matter how stressful and why do we do it?

Surely you can remember that? Because we absolutely love a family Christmas.

Have a good one.