Lights flicker and fade, drawing the year to a close. Outside, the weather is warming and slowly burning the frost away; a tiny ripple before the wave of heat to come, before it is summer again.
2014 has been a year of travel, with three trips abroad setting a new record for the furthest south and east I’ve travelled across the world — records I hope to beat before too many more years pass.
Like many, I came of age with a head full of dreams about what my adult life would be like. I thought maybe I’d live in a big old cottage, raise my children in a little village by the sea, have a wood fire burning through the winter and I’d decorate the house for every season. We’d have a garden to grow vegetables and keep hens, we’d have plenty of money and the house would always be tidy, and we’d be together at home each Christmas morning.
This is now my thirieth winter on this Earth. If my early twenties were “about” anything, they were about going with the flow — accepting what life threw my way and learning to be happy with it regardless.
As December gets into full swing, one of the joyous seasonal activities that must be undertaken is the ritual filling of my Amazon wishlist with a bunch of crap I don’t need. This is all to help those stubborn relatives who can’t bring themselves to believe I’m telling the truth when I say “I don’t want anything”.
What I really want for Christmas is a tree covered in lights, a table to sit my friends and family around, a dinner to cook for as many as possible, a bottle of wine to drink and stories to tell.