We all remember the first day of term with its new text books, neat and tidy exercise books and new intentions. But what about end of terms – especially Christmas time? School seemed to close a week earlier and be given over to a more relaxed time. Remember the Christmas Card Post-box? Christmas dinner?
It signalled a time of time off. A bit silly. A bit otherworldly, maybe even magical if there was some snow involved. My school used a tannoy that allowed the headteacher to speak to everyone in their classrooms. At the end of Christmas term this was taken over by older pupils who, for a day, would turn the school into a radio station and play chart music all day long. Dedications between the music were made to various teachers and if you were in the know you could tell that the next song somehow applied to that teacher. We thought we were so clever.
There was always some kind of concert and it felt special and a crazy – as if normal life had been suspended. Then there was home, your own family and for a few days it was like you were locked away for a time from the rest of the world.
This year we have had enough of that feeling because we have been exhausting the possibility of the immediate family being together. Instead, we look back on the Christmases we have known, the memories of people and places from before.
And that well- worn phrase – look to the future. What will Christmas be like next year?
I think we all know that this Christmas will stand in the memory long into the future, perhaps for reasons that we even yet do not understand. These moments, these fragments of our lives are opportunities to cast an eye over our life and see a bigger picture.
I think the world will be in a better place and I have hope for the future. A few weeks ago, I picked up an acorn and put it in a pot with a dash of miracle grow. I can’t tell you how quickly it is growing not only roots but a stem with tiny leaves emerging. It’s amazing.
Wherever you are and however you feel about it I wish you a happy Christmas 2020 and may it lead you to a brighter future.