Well it’s here again – just over two weeks to go and the tree is up, the advent string hung, the wreaths made, the lights untangled and re-tangled and crowded onto overloaded extension cables. The cat has shredded tinsel all over the floor and the boys have dressed dad as an elf in an ohsoslightly tight Christmas t-shirt. The Christmas train is playing jingle bells as it chugs around the floor and we are ready.

Despite sneaking away for Christmas this year I can’t help but reflect on the usual annual festivities we will be missing this year by choice and consider those families up north suffering a less chosen deletion of Christmas due to the insertion of a foot of water into their preparations for the season. I simply can’t imagine watching sodden tinsel merge with river mud and tree branches as the sparkling lights fizz out under a deluge of water. This season can be stressful enough for many families without such catastrophic events intervening.

So when you cringe at yet another appealing cracker joke, grimace as you enter yet another sale-ridden shopping experience or gulp as your mother in law piles another soggy sprout onto your plate – spare a thought for some. They won’t be enjoying Christmas choices like yours until at least 2016



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