Well the day is done, Joseph's second Christmas on planet earth, and it's been the first Christmas day I have really enjoyed in the last three years.
Christmas 2007 I was in the early stages of pregnancy. I'd had norovirus on top of pretty relentless "morning" sickness (who is the sick male person who called it that??) and was not feeling Christmassy. My dear neighbour Rita cooked all the vegetables, I cooked the meat, and it was quite a pleasant day afterall, but not stunning.
Last year I was mentally ill. My post traumatic stress disorder was getting worse before it got better, I was still on high alert and distressed. Joseph got ill and we spent boxing day in Accident & Emergency. Thankfully it wasn't serious and he was on the mend swiftly.
This year, it was joyful. We have dear Aussie friends staying with us, who have also walked a similar path to ourselves with their son. Presents were wrapped and unwrapped, food lovingly made and consumed, children played, shared, fell over, cried, laughed and danced. It has been a day of snowy walks, of chatting, of reminiscing, and sharing.
It's been everything a good Christmas should be, apart from missing our families at home, and feeling some sadness for those who have not been able to enjoy Christmas.
A large part of this evening was spent thinking of those whose children cannot be with them on this day, whether in hospital, or whether, like "Bob" they have joined the angels.
We think of those who are ill, or who have famil members that are ill. My own mother has, this year, embarked on a journey with breast cancer, and has come to the end of gruelling chemotherapy treatment.
We think of those whose loved ones are in Afghanistan, or preparing to go, or are in other areas of conflict.
Christmas is a time of hope. A time when we celebrate hope coming into the world, whether you are religious or not, or Christian or not, Christmas is a time when we reflect on the good in our world and in our lives, and in the absence, in this country at least, of its own special day, a time where we give thanks.
So at the end of this day, I would like to say thanks, for friendship, for family, for children and most of all, for love.