Image: Gerd Altmann at Pixabay
It was that funny time of the year between expectation and waiting.
Around him, the time had come for preparation, decorations to be hung, gifts organised, the catering to be finalised as to who was bringing what and how much to make and bake.
There was also the spiritual side, not that in recent times he paid a lot of attention to it apart from the recognition of the significance of the occasion.
Life stopped in so many ways. It stopped because people took a breather from the humdrum of the everyday, put aside the cut and thrust of life, forgot for a brief time the urge to compete and took on the mantel of family and its importance.
It was a time of gatherings.
Across the road, the Christians sang Christmas Carols under the guise of a street party but was in fact a device to lure in the locals and with a bit of luck find some who’d commit to a regular Sunday attendance. He didn’t mind for he long recognised that it was a matter of each to his own and the Sunday morning services he tolerated though he was often annoyed by their parking in front of his house and thereby blocking his view when he exited his property.
But it was that time of the year when he had to be tolerant, understand that the majority of people celebrated in one way or another and that overall it was a time of peace and quiet.
So he went about his business as he always did, planning his family night, going to the mall to be confronted by the magnificent tree at the top of the escalator under which if he went in the middle of the day, parents and children large and small would be queued to be photographed with Santa.
The older he got the more he smiled at all the fuss happening around him.
Across town, his daughter added another decoration to her lounge room, her Christmas wonderland building around her and her boys growing in excitement daily as their expectations grew.
It was a thrill to see the faces of small children; he wondered what it was he had lost if anything over the years.
Dexterity for one, bits ached and complained but all that had to put aside as it detracted from the festive mood.
Tomorrow he would consider his own gift giving. It was about giving, he didn’t want for anything, so it was more about the gathering, the stories, the games, and the wide-eyed wonder of small children.