So it’s Christmas Eve once again. In a little while I’ll be back at work, probably watching all the excesses of Christmas on the CCTV systems. It will be interesting watching it all again from the comfort of a swivel chair rather than from out there in the trenches of the cold & wet.
When I think back to nearly 30 years of Christmases, the things which leap out at me aren’t the festive joyous & funny incidents. It’s the tragic ones which linger in the memory. One Christmas morning after a night of watching the brigade do their stuff & subsequent scene-guarding I spent some time going through the gutted shell of a flat which contained three burned bodies. I can still recall the sight of what used to be a mother lying over the top of what used to be a young child, her last act before death to try & protect her child before both fortunately succumbed to smoke before the flames reached them.
One Christmas Eve I spent with the mother & father of a man in his twenties who brought his festivities to an abrupt end by jumping off a multi-storey car park.
Three days before Christmas I got sent to an accident with a motorcyclist. He wasn’t a young tearaway, he was in his 40s. He slipped on the ice and a lamppost robbed him of Christmas, and life.
There must be something in the human condition, whatever that is, which makes people give up the ghost at Christmas; there seem to be so many deaths, natural or otherwise.
This year of necessity my wife will be making our house ready for Christmas morning. She’s done it many times before, she knows the routine. I won’t be getting pressies out of the loft or doing last-minute present wrapping. I won’t be making the piles of presents in the living room or around the tree. I’ll be miles away watching people getting pissed and fighting, speaking to some of them on the phone, and sending colleagues in to pick up the pieces.
We’ll have our Christmas dinner a few days after most people. It seems a little strange when you have to transpose days in your life. We’ll save a few presents back and have our very own mini Christmas. It’ll be great, we’ll be together, we can even watch Xmas telly on our Sky Plus.