If you’re like me, then you probably enjoy Christmas. But you probably also find it odd that Christmas cards are on sale from mid-September, and decorations start making an appearance around the same time.
Here we are, halfway through November. Many of the leaves are still on the trees. If you drive at night, you’ll have seen moths. And clouds of midgies are hovering around in the weak sunshine. Yet it feels like the Festive celebrations are already in full swing.
I like Christmas; but I like it near the end of December where it’s supposed to be. I have always ignored the festivities right up until the last moment – which explains why I’m often seen running from shop to shop on Christmas Eve trying to collect the items on my gift list.
And that’s why I found it all rather disconcerting this week when I was wrapped in tinsel, sporting cardboard Rudolph antlers, wearing a glass bauble on each ear, and singing Slade’s “So Here it is, Merry Christmas” at full tilt.
All very odd. But it makes sense when I tell you that I was being interviewed at a hospital radio station. And we were recording the Christmas show. It’s going to take them several weeks to edit the recording so the listeners can make some sense of my ramblings, then it will be transmitted to the wards along with my three favourite Festive hits on Christmas day.
What makes it all so wonderful is that the radio station is run by volunteers. Not just the presenters, but the people who collect requests around the wards, the admin staff and the technical team. Volunteers, every one of them.
So how could I turn down the offer – even if it did mean I had to break the habit of a lifetime and get into the Christmas spirit weeks before the event?
All power to those who give up their free time – particularly over the holiday period. While the rest of us are having fun, stuffing our faces, opening presents and slumping in front of the TV, an army of volunteers are out there making sure Christmas still comes for those who are not as fortunate as the rest of us.
I take my jingly hat off to them, one and all.