Susan Morrison: May our days be merry and light

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Oh ho! First sighting of a fully decorated tree in a bay window. Well done you. There are those who say Christmas should stay in December but, hey, it’s your tree, it’s your windae, and if you feel the need for Yuletide cheer in November, then break out the baubles.

It’s deeply fashionable to sneer at Christmas. In fact, I know people who start their sneering earlier every year, just to aim an extra snarled comment about crass 
commercialisation at those unbelievably organised people who do their Christmas shopping in October.

Christmas is tawdry, they say. It’s sentimental codswallop and nothing but a giant money trap for retailers to snap up your pennies and pounds. It’s rampant consumerism in a world that doesn’t actually know its Christmastime at all.

Yep. All of the above. But this year I am outing myself as an unashamed fan of the festives. In the face of a Ben Nevis of cynicism, I freely admit I love the whole thing, even the Christmas dinner, which I shall have to cook this year.

Admittedly my family has fairly mixed feelings about that last fact, if you count “horrified” to “appalled” as mixed.

It’s a beacon of light in the very middle of the worst of the year, when the sun appears as rarely as a smile from Lord Sugar. The clouds over the city have the colour and texture of a particularly dreich duvet cover that went into the washing a gleaming white, but someone chucked a black sock into the machine.

It’s cold, dark and miserable, and spring is so very far away.

And then, in the most minging depths of wintery glaur, the city gets a riotous makeover, apparently courtesy of an especially camp fairy godmother, totally off her wings on sherry.

An entire German market lands in the Gardens, selling decent hot spiced wine, although I do sometimes wonder if they have a Scottish market in Dusseldorf selling Mulled Irn-Bru.

People out shopping smile – yes they do, I’ve seen them. Mind you, it could be the effect of the 
Glühwein.

It is, genuinely, a wonderful time of the year. It’s a present of light and colour when the world is at its darkest.