Here we are, the day after Boxing Day, and another Christmas has been and gone.
What does the spirit of Christmas mean to you? I'm not religious so I don't celebrate the occasion in anyway related to religion. I see it as a holiday. A time for families to get together. A time of excitement and the make-believe of Santa for children.
Here in Turkey of course it is not celebrated, although there are gatherings of ex-pats who will do their best to create a Christmassy atmosphere.
Elsewhere we see the insanity of crowded supermarkets. People emptying the shelves of food even though the shops are only closed for one day. Food that will be wasted after everyone has over-indulged. Excessive spending on presents leaving people with debts to pay for months of the new year.
We don't normally do anything special on Christmas Day, but this year we spent it with our dear friends David and Abdu. We had a lovely meal and I ate a lot more than I usually would, necessitating the removal of my surgical corset for the rest of the day! No excessive spending because our friends are much like us. Just a very pleasant time with people we care about. Just as it should be.
It's a difficult time for so many people. Those who live alone. Those who have lost loved ones at this time of year. Those who suffer from mental illness. The homeless. The millions of refugees and displaced persons all over the world, who don't have enough to eat at any time, let alone at Christmas.
I have many friends who do so much to help those less fortunate, but so many more don't because they live in their own little bubble and ignore what's going on in the world, or somehow believe that it's not their problem. And there are those that buy into the right wing propaganda spouted by the UK gutter press that brainwash the gullible into believing that refugees are some kind of threat.
I make no apology for what might be seen as a "bah humbug" post. I sincerely hope that all of you who celebrated Christmas have had a wonderful time with your friends and families. I just hope that the coming year will see a change in attitude and that more people will stop and think about those in desperate need.
Here's wishing you all a Happy New Year, one of peace and an end to conflict, but mostly one filled with hope for a better future for those who desperately need it.
How to help Syrian Refugees
Homeless Charities in the UK