The night has been spent in the traditional Pas way; the television on and the kids in bed, presents everywhere in the front room with Wifey and my Mother in Law wrapping everything up ready for the morning. The empty cardboard tubes which held wrapping paper rigidly ready for its use are stacking up on the floor by the fireplace and the boxes showing their contents are decreasing while the brightly coloured wrapped boxes have made a very inviting pile. My Son has already been up wondering around despite being the first of the kids to fall asleep, his just woken up voice telling that Santa has not yet been, a small drink and he goes back to bed. Oh, the age of innocence, I cannot hide the smile as he potters off back to his bed with a “Goodnight Dad”.

Christmas means different things to different people, it is a time for happiness. A time for family and friends. A time for receiving and for giving gifts. A time for celebration. A time, for some, religion. It will be a time where people remember those whom are no longer with us, which is true of our house, and those who are unable to be with their families and friends due to work or in the defence of our country. Having spent a Christmas away in Afghanistan I know how it can be difficult to keep focussed on the job in hand, and having to as best as possible think not of home and family but of the family you are with, in whichever country you are.

I write today simply to wish one and all a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the day with your family whether it be your blood family, adopted family, military family or any other you may call your family. May the good times you have fill you with happiness. May you eat well, and enjoy a drink be it alcoholic or not, it does not matter. And may I ask you please, either as a group at the table before dinner or just in your own head quietly, to spare a thought for the service personnel around the globe who will not be with their loved ones this year.



George Pas.


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