Christmas to me

Unbelievable excitement. You could have told me we were going to Disneyland and I don’t think I’d have been more excited than on the night before Christmas as a kid. The anticipation. I think we forget how long a year feels when you’re 5 or even 10. Christmas felt almost mythical, unreal that it could ever exist and be ‘today’.

Family. It was always the three or four (once my brother was born) of us. I don’t know if we visited or were visited by anyone, but my memory is just the close family, the gifts, the meal, the games. The stockings, opened too early, before sleep on at least one occasion I’m sure.

No particular movies, but sometimes the Queen’s speech, Doctor Who or Eastenders. Mince pies and Christmas pudding.

Stuff, yes, but a representation too, of giving and togetherness.

Later, now, of celebration. Of what Jesus did to choose to be vulnerable, of God choosing to be a baby, of a creator choosing to depend on it’s creation for food and shelter and care.

Really I want to mix the two. Rediscover that childhood anticipation of the special magnitude of the day but with a perspective of the nativity. Now that I have my own family, that my dad has gone and I’m not able to visit mum or my brother this year, it’s our new family to choose how and what we celebrate.

In a tough, tough year, I hope we, and you, have a very good and special day.

Happy Christmas.

That’s me, in the middle. Possibly 1973.


Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

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