This week I really struggled to find Christmas.
I could see and hear it everywhere. The increase in traffic, the crowds in the shops and the songs on the radio.
Yes Christmas was evident everywhere but in my heart.
However I have been actively trying to push past this feeling as it is at odds with my family.
My children are really looking forward to Christmas. My husband is going to have more time off this year than he has ever had in twenty years. It is all good. Except for me.
My mood can not just be put down to the loss of my friends young boy. It is also down to the fact, that like most who read this, I am up to my tonsils in work and present buying. It was all piling up.
My “job” is head teacher with a swim club. A job I love.
On Tuesday we had a busy day making up party bags for over 70 children. Santa had promised he would appear at my lesson.
As the children began to arrive there was huge excitement in the air. They went to their groups but many were completely preoccupied. “Was Santa comming?”.
Eventually he arrived. We rang the bell and just for a moment all noise stopped. Little faces looked towards the door and in he came.
It was magic.
He made his way round the pool waving to all. As he stopped at the various groups we saw small faces stare up at him shouting excitedly, “Hi Santy”, and jostling to shake his hand.
One group of five and six year olds, heads barely over the water surface, sang “Jingle Bells” at the top of their voices.
Then it was time for Santa to sit down and all the young swimmers to come meet him.
We were under time pressure but Santa and the children were oblivious. I tried to hurry things along in some small way, but as I watched so many happy faces, I gave up.
One little boy was bursting waiting for his turn. Eventually he was at the top of the queue. No prompting needed for him, “Hi Santa, my name is Derek. Did you get my letter?”.
Some told him they were very good, others that they were trying. Santa was very inquisitive asking did they eat their breakfast, keep their rooms tidy, be nice to their brothers and sisters? All questions were answered earnestly and honestly.
As they came out dressed they met Santa again, this time for a photograph. It was now 8pm they were mostly dressed in pyjamas and dressing gowns. Looking at their little faces as they gazed at him, some in awe, others happiness and some with suspiscion the cute factor went off the scale.
Eventually the last child left and we said a huge “Thank you and Goodnight” to a wonderful Santa.
I smiled to myself, I had found Christmas.