You can;t escape it can you? As I said in yesterday's post, I deliberately avoided our little market town yesterday as it was Christmas themed all day.
This morning the farmer and I made the twelve mile journey to our nearest beautiful forest/nature reserve in order to collect a couple of season tickets (my last present - I have now finished my Christmas shopping and am trying not to sound smug). It doesn't open until eleven in Winter months and as it was only just that time we expected there would be no-one there.
We turned the corner into the Car Park and there wasn't a space!! Why not? Alas, Santa had moved his Grotto to a little hidey hole within the park and there was a queue a mile long - children, parents, grannies and grandads - all eager to visit Santa. I had to queue ten minutes to get to the ticket office. And what a ten minutes. Several children were sending up clouds of bubbles, so that the air was full of them; others were charging about full of excitement. The atmosphere was lovely.
And it struck me as I stood there. There was not an under-privileged child in that queue (certainly not in monetary terms) - it was £6.50 per adult to get inside for a start. In terms of love and security of course, one never knows. But when I see pictures on the television of our inner city children, our under-privileged children, the children of parents out of work and struggling to put a meal on the table, I realise that we do, on the whole, live in a very affluent area.
So I think we should all spare a thought this week-end, in the run up to Christmas to those for whom Christmas will maybe not be a happy one this year (this includes those whose homes have been flooded or washed away in this week's storms) and it also includes all those refugee children from Syria for whom Christmas is of course not an occasion they celebrate, but who for the last few years have had absolutely nothing to celebrate anyway- and nothing for the forseeable future.
We are so lucky. Let's be thankful for it.