There are lots of people who describe Christmas Day as just another day.
And sit down to a huge Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, open their presents from the huge pile under the tree festooned with bright ornaments, have friends and family round for food, drinks, games, chat, fun, and maybe even watch the queen’s speech for all I know.
That, is not ‘just another day’.
‘Just another day’ is:
When you get up at the same time rather than waking up in the small hours dying to open your presents under the tree – because there is no tree, and there are no presents.
When you don’t have children, or any family, or close friends coming to visit.
When you don’t prepare a special – and far too large – Christmas lunch.
When you have enough space for your cards.
When you aren’t religious, so most of what Christmas should be about goes over your head.
Just another day is doing exactly what you do on any other non-work day.
I wrote similar feelings on Itchy Feet last year, and reading back over it just now, I was surprised I’d written about the memories of childhood Christmases. This year, they didn’t even come to mind.
Oddly today, I did wake up not long after midnight. Probably because the cat bites were hurting. But what was going around in my head, apart from dreams of being savaged by a pack of vicious cats, was a song by Lindisfarne.
It was from the album ‘Nicely out of Tune,’ and wasn’t a particular favourite track of mine because it was a bit dirgeful. I’m not fond of dirgeful music, unless it is part of a funeral service. So I usually skipped this track.
But my Partner liked it, in fact he likes all the tracks on the album, so these days it gets played through.
It is an appropriate song for the time of year. ‘Winter Song.’ One of my best husky pals reminded me that the Winter Solstice the other day marks the start of winter.
I’m not one for lyrics, so I never really listened to the words to this song. My idea of a good tune is one I can happily la-la-la along to without needing to know the boring words. You can tell that, because even now, after 40 years, I didn’t realise there was a reference to Christmas in this song.
And that wasn’t the line going round in my head. Because, the trouble with British folk/rock bands is that more than most bands, they sing quite clearly, and even I can pick out the odd few words.
It was this: ‘Do you spare a thought for the homeless…’
Because for the homeless, Christmas Day really is just another day.
Merry Christmas people.