December – that festive time of year has arrived once again. A time for joy. A time for pondering. A time to treasure, and a time to show everyone dear to you, how much they mean. Often we come to think of Christmas as the time to give presents.  However, I think the best present you can give someone is time.  Yes the materialistic things are nice, but they can’t compare. People make Christmas special. And I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Recently, I have been thinking about my family. How much I miss them, how much I treasure them, and how much joy they bring to me.

Here I am, sat (at the time of writing this) in Starbucks, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf.  Looking out I can see Santa’s Grotto.  The children and parents lined up, queuing to enter. It is such a magical time for them, and for some it’s their first Christmas. Its lovely to see their faces beaming and smiling. Reminds me back to the days when I was a child, going to the shopping precinct with my parents and brothers. Being all excited at the idea of meeting this magical, yet fictional character, Santa Claus. I miss those Christmas’s with my family all gathered together.

What I treasure the most now is not the presents, but the experiences I had. Spending time with grandma, grandad and my great aunt. I miss them dearly, particularly my grandad (from my dads side), he always had a smile, he always brought cheer and he always found the time for everyone. A more happier, loving and caring man you could not meet. My grandma for making sure everyone was all fed, or in her case over fed. My great aunt for sitting in the rocking chair, sipping her sherry and showing that despite all the knocks you can have in life, that you should celebrate life however you can, even if it’s just in a small way. Of course my mum, dad and brothers, step dad and step mum are thought of dearly. The excitement, the passing of stories, the cheer and the valuable time we have spent together. I will be thinking of them so very much when I am down here in London this year. Looking forward to seeing you all in January!

So what I want to say, before going on to tell you about the month for me, is: Enjoy. Celebrate. Treasure. The time spent with your family, loved ones and friends can never be wasted. Give thanks for everything you have. Yes there will always be people richer than you, but remember there are people and families worse off than you. It’s not about bankrupting yourself on presents. Christmas is a time about people, and remember the greatest gift you can give is you – the value on that is priceless!

Season Greetings,