Christmas is almost upon us and once again I am torn in my emotions. Because I love the excitement around it, the dark evenings filled with bright colourful lights that shine through the dark, the smell of roasting chestnuts on a street stall, people out and about having fun and cheering ‘Merry Christmas’ at each other.
I love all of it and whether I’m walking along Princes Street as I was last week, enjoying the Christmas market with my hat and scarf on and a wee mulled wine, Or as I did the same in Malaga, this time minus the hat and scarf.
Whether in Scotland or Spain, the ambience was the same, the bright Christmas lights illuminating the streets, the crowds gathered to soak in the joys of community at Christmas time.
I walked home feeling humbled and grateful that I had peace in my heart and the health to enjoy a wee trip away at this time of year. On the way back to my hotel, I felt a lump in my throat and a tear run down my cheek.
Sometimes I just really appreciate my life and then I think of others less fortunate than me. All over the world, people are dealing with the unknowable crises and desperate circumstances, grief and pain that are especially hard to endure at this time of year.
For many this is a merry time, but for others Christmas is simply something to get through.
I wish you all a happy, merry Christmas and instead of a card, we have provided a couple of Christmas lunches for the homeless in Edinburgh this year, so when you raise your glass, as well as thinking about those no longer round your table, think of those less fortunate while you appreciate your festivities with those you love.
And finally, it’s a hectic time so put yourself first, take care of you and you’ll be more able to help those around you.