Stirrings of a festive spirit
It has come to my attention that for the decade-plus that I've been a columnist in various newspapers,I have been unable to resist the annual path to Grinch-ness that sees me complaining relentlessly against the pressures of the season.
Over the years, everything from my plummeting bank balance, the pressures of festive outfits, the ironies of celebrating a religious event when not particularly religious, over-eating, traffic, supermarket queuing, Christmas telly, cards received in October, and the dubious attractions of sprouts (ewww) have inspired my written ire.
Even the advent of multiple paper cuts during my wrapping processes, a skill I have never mastered beyond the level of a five-year-old, have left me swearing under my breath and sharing my frustrations.
Working in newspapers doesn’t he;p of course.
When the snow and holly-themed press releases start clogging up your inbox in June, you are rather tired of the cliches by the time December actually arrives.
It is not a coincidence that newsrooms are usually the only office to remain unadorned with tinsel, where monitors remain bare of flashy lights and novelty Santas.
If you do receive a Christmas card from a colleague , it tends to contain an insult and expletive.
Saccharine wishes for the season often seem moot in a department where tragedy, human suffering, crime and misery touch the working lives of its inhabitants ona daily basis.
Humour is essential to survive the days and in a room full of highly-tuned wordsmiths it tends towards the gallows variety.
Christmas, and its intrinsic chintz, becomes a prime target for that humour and it is almost a matter of pride that it is approached with sarcasm, scepticism and sass.
So what is remarkable is that this year there has been the stirring of a festive spirit. never before publicly displayed.
Maybe it is because 2016 has been pretty awful for the world stage; we have lost many of our icons and Brexit/Trump have induced widespread incredulity and national insecurity.
Whatever it is - yours truly has officially become the owner of a Christmas jumper.
Happy holidays to all.