And to all a goodnight.

When we were younger, my sister and I would climb into bed in our shared room and gossip in the dark. Nearing Christmastime, presents inevitably became the topic of conversation. We always felt sorry for our parents. Mourned for them! Here we were with our huge sackfuls of presents, and there they were with only a few measly gifts each! How dreadful! How terribly unjust! Oh how gleeful we were not to be grown-ups.

As the years passed, my sister and I slowly stopped having those conversations. Looking back on them today I realise how the true excitement lies in giving, not receiving – and how happy our small, rosy faces full of anticipation must have made our mother and father. It makes me look forward to being a parent one day. 

So this year we enjoyed giving presents. Enjoyed making up for all those years of inequality, by presenting our mother with a stocking all of her own. And I felt SO happy to have been born into a family that enjoys an annual round of a game colloquially known as ‘throw carboard hoops at family members wearing cardboard reindeer antlers’ (see picture above.) They are truly the best and I could not be luckier.

I really love Christmas Day, more than the run-up and the anticipation. I love the day itself. As a person who gets far too excited about the future, I cannot say the same of many things. But Christmas Day I find holy in the most non-religious of senses. And almost as much as the day itself, I love the aftermath. The sublime mess of used glasses and dirty dishes, the contentment implied in a mussed-up table and a tired and happy heart. 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas too, and are enjoying the last few days of the year with those you savour and love. 

P.S. Is there anything better than a bundle of white fur? That puppy (not for Christmas, and not ours) is THE cutest.