Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas Wishes

At this winter festival we not only celebrate the solstice but also the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, a celestial event which has not taken place for 400 years. I’ve cut sprays of conifer, holly and ivy, gathered them together and tied them to the brass knob of the front door. This morning we brought our living Christmas Tree from the back yard and put it pride of place in the front room. We’ve lit candles, set our handmade German Christmas ornaments on the mantlepiece and as the sun sets we sit in front of the fire with two glasses of well-matured sloe gin.

My toast is to my wife, the wonderful T. We have been together for seven and a half years now, and we are happier and more contented than we have ever been. She is the most warm-hearted and generous person I have ever met. She has great emotional intelligence. She is witty, resourceful, clever, hard-working and ever dependable. She is everything to me. I am truly blessed.

Soon we will sit down to the first dinner of our winter feast. There will be just the two of us. But that will not matter. We will pull crackers, put on party hats, laugh at the cheesy jokes and raise a glass to absent family and friends. I hope that many of you will have something that is very much like this.

But not everyone is able to be at home. In 2015, I was in Belfast City Hospital having had emergency surgery to remove a large tumour from my abdomen. After nine days of ‘nil by mouth’, the first meal I was given was the Hospital’s Christmas dinner. T came in to the ward and brought me presents and her warm smile. But she also brought small gifts for the doctors and nurses who had to be on duty. However you are spending Christmas this year, may you have love, warmth and good cheer.


  1. I have been reading, and enjoying very much, your poetry collection. I hope you and your wife have a continuing festive time and all good wishes for next year.

    1. Thank you very much. I'm delighted to hear that. Warmest wishes to you and yours.