(This post first appeared as my December/January column in the Tetbury Advertiser, out now.)
Although we put so much effort into planning our festive celebrations, I often find the highlights of my Christmas are the moments that take me by surprise.
One such occasion occurred when I was a child, growing up in an outer suburb of London. When I was about 11, the age my daughter is now, I was for the first time considered old enough to go to the midnight church service on Christmas Eve. We weren’t a particularly religious family, but the small, plain church in our garden suburb had special significance for us. My parents had married there, we children had been christened, my grandfather was its choirmaster, and the small, rotund…
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