It is December 1st, and in most households the run up to Christmas will begin.
For anyone who is apart from a loved one, it is a very difficult time of the year. We have this rose-tinted glasses belief that all families are sitting around cosy fires, or around tables leaden with food, all having a wonderful time, and enjoying each others company.
In reality, is that what is happening?
There will be many thousands of people once again this year who will be alone, who will be sleeping rough, who will not have enough money for food, Christmas time is just another period of time for them.
No different from every other day.
There will be Dads and Mums who are not allowed to see their children, again this year, who will suffer the physical pain of being separated. They will be on the outside. There will be no Christmas hug in the morning, listening to squeals of delight from their children, there will just be silence and emptiness.
Christmas presents will have been bought and wrapped with love, posted but do the children ever receive them?
I suppose the point is that they have been bought with love, and sent with a prayer, those who are sending are doing the right thing, what happens once they arrive is out of our control.
I have just bought my granddaughter some very jazzy leggings and wrap, I bought them with thought, care and love, it is true at 15 she will probably hate them! But that doesn’t matter, I just hope she knows that they are from her Grandad and me, and that she knows her Dads present is bursting with love as well.
People ask me every year how can I get through it?
Well the honest answer is, we do.
Try and do something for someone else, allow yourself those moments of solitude with your thoughts, allow the tears to fall, but also hang on to the Christmas message of hope.
Most of us, will be fortunate that we do have a roof over our head, we do have money to buy food and we have so much to be thankful for.
Christmas will come and go as it always does, the important thing is to make sure that Christmas and everyday we make a difference, to someone.
Remember, you are not alone.