A time for family.

Above all, all, Christmas celebrates the paradise of childhood. From the religious to the frivolous, it is the moment of the child. My own have now grown up, although it seems only yesterday that Harry was whizzing around on his new hobby horse or Charlie was ignoring his gift and climbing into the box it had come in. Anna was a performer from birth and starred as Mary in the Nativity play; the boys’ acting careers peaked in their Nativities as a star and, rather surprisingly, as a third unicorn.

What is instilled in each of them is a set of rules about Christmas: midnight Mass, putting out the carrots by the fire for Rudolph and the whisky for Father Christmas (he has a taste for Glenmorangie), boiled eggs for breakfast, opening the presents—but only after granny has made proper coffee—the anticipation of when, during lunch, Aunt Sylvie will say ‘what a lovely bird’, the need for silence during The Queen’s speech…

Our Christmas is different to yours—you will have your own set of ‘rules’—but, like ours, it will celebrate your family and the most important people in your life.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas, how- ever you have it.