I usually love Christmas. Only this year it has taken a little longer than usual. Buble was still played on December 1st, closely followed by Mariah, and Home Alone has been watched.
My youngest son, five in February, had shown initial signs of being excited. And as the days of December passed, this has intensified – which has obviously helped.
Barely a day now goes by when he doesn’t talk about Santa or sing a traditional song with the odd tweak involving the odour of a favourite superhero. I’ll let you work it out.
Against this, my oldest son (nine and a bit) has virtually stopped believing. The tell-tale, warning signs were there last year and now there is no turning him. I tell him if he believes in ‘magic’, then that will do for me.
This non-believing is the main reason why it has taken a little longer than usual for my own Christmas cheer to kick in.
That was until Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
I approached nativity number one with an unhappy blend of excitement and trepidation.
First up was the youngest whose record in previous nativities didn’t exactly make him next in line for Britain’s Got Talent.
Two years ago, a lack of confidence saw him sit with mummy in the audience. Last year, he sat with daddy at the back of the stage making this writer surely one of the oldest members of a pre-school nativity.
So we took our seats, wondering what year three would have in store. We – myself, my wife and his lovely nanny – had nothing to fear.
He walked to his seat, belted out the first line of the opening song, did some actions – and we relaxed. OK, we blubbed, with a mixture of pride and relief. It was one of the best feelings of 2016.
This turned to joy later at the sight of him spinning a girl classmate around the stage in a scene more reminiscent of Strictly Come Dancing than BGT. It was a 10 from me.
The next day, the spotlight shone on my oldest. Less of an extrovert in the house, but more confident in knowing what to do and what’s expected of him in a school play.
After his initial fear, when he couldn’t spot me in the audience, he danced and sung along, before proclaiming he wanted a bigger role next year. That’s my boy.
With last minute shopping, a carol concert and plenty of family time to come, Christmas has well and truly arrived in the Gooderham household.
May I wish every Bury Free Press reader a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.