I don't know about all of you lot, but for me, Christmas is a time of varying emotions.
Firstly there is the joy and happiness I feel from being around my family and friends. This year more than ever before has this been true as I have been lucky enough to catch up with some very special people that I hadn't seen for a long time. Jackie, Aaron, Sarah, Alicia, the gang from Phoenix Futures, Tony, Lee, Paul, Em, and Elvis - you all made my heart soar when I saw you again. Tomorrow, I will have my Brother, my Sister and Brother in-law, and my Nephew around me - which will be beautiful.
Friends and family like mine, are all the presents I will ever need.
I still want presents tomorrow though, okay Santa?
Along with the happiness, there will also be some sadness when I think about the friends that I will not get to see purely because it didn't work out that way. And I will also be sad for the people that have passed on, because as humans we never stop missing them. The sadness is for their absence from our tables, and from sharing the joy that this time of year brings. We will raise a glass and remember them with love.
And for me, still, there will be some regret. Regret at the mistakes I have made, and the people that those mistakes have taken from me. Regret is a wasted emotion, because you cannot change what has been. Nonetheless, I still have regrets.
Fortunately, I also have love - heaps of love. Love for my family and my friends. If you are reading this, then it is likely that you fall into one of those two categories. If by some strange chance you are reading this and are neither a family member or a friend then........what the heck - you can have some love as well. It costs me nothing to give it, and if the thought of some tall, handsome, charming, funny guy ( just in case you are female, attractive, and single) sending you his love puts even the slightest smile on your face, then I give it freely.
There is also hope. Hope that I may, in some way, carry the feeling of love and goodwill with me each and everyday in the coming year. I use the word hope because I know it is a difficult thing to promise. We all get caught up in the everyday struggles of life, and it is much easier to walk away than stop and help; it is easier to think the worst based on face value rather than find out what is really underneath. It's fairly safe to say that I have a reputation for being a joker, always being silly and funny etc. Well let me tell you, it isn't easy, but I'll let you into a little secret: it feels great.
Admittedly you have to be open to the concept of getting pleasure from making others laugh, and that isn't something you can force, you have to work on it - but if you start small, like holding a door open for someone, then you can work your way upwards.
Now, I am not trying to sell myself as some sort of angel. I am selfish, rude, unfeeling, critical, sarcastic, cruel, and horrible at times - I know, It's hard to believe how someone this attractive could ever be so flawed. Well I am, I've more flaws than the blueprints of a block of flats drawn up by an Architect who couldn't spell.
But I believe that you have to fight the doom and gloom of existence anyway you can. For me, that means silly, childish, sometimes inspired humour. That is how I get through each day - well, that and chocolate.
So I urge you all to keep the feeling of good that you will get in your hearts this Christmas and pass it on to others - it doesn't matter how you do it, a kind act or just a smile may be enough. What matters is, that you do it. Yes, you may get looked at funny, yes some people might think you are weird. That comes with the task, and is in direct ratio to the bizarreness of the thing you are doing. Remember, not everyone will think that poking four cucumbers through the vicar's letterbox and shouting "the aliens have landed!" will put a smile on his face.
Someone much wiser than me said, "That Larry Lagrue? Thick as pigshit."
However, someone much nicer and wiser than me said that no matter what we believe in, or the colour of our skin, we all bleed the same red blood.
Well, we also all smile the same way, and a smile is universal - it knows no boundaries. So spread the mirth as much as possible I say, just to see what happens. A few days ago I held a door open for a few
people of (I think) middle eastern origin, and was ignored. In fact, they deliberately chose a different door. Will that experience make me think twice about holding a door open for someone else of that or similar origin?
People are like fingerprints - no two are exactly the same. So bear that in mind, and keep the mirth going.
Merry Christmas, and much love xxx