Contemplating Christmas

Article by Kwasi for the Surrey Advertiser

Coming into December is always very exciting. We all wonder at how quickly the year has gone by, and we look forward to spending time shopping, if we can afford it, or worrying about Christmas preparations.

As a student, someone in the workplace, and as an MP, I have always enjoyed this time of year. For schoolchildren, December marks the end of the first term of the school year, when everyone is very tired, after having to adapt to new circumstances.

The winter term is often the longest term. Summers are taken up with exams, and the spring term is generally quite short. For MPs, much of the heavy lifting in Parliament is done in the period before Christmas. Of course, December is often the time for office parties, carol services and general socialising. This often leads people to be even more tired, and there is a general frenzied atmosphere.

The eighteenth century historian and MP, Edward Gibbon, said “I never found my mind more vigorous than in the winter hurry of society and Parliament”. I know how he felt. There always seems to be a rush to get things done before people head off for their Christmas holidays.

In December, there are many things to look forward to in the Borough itself. I am particularly looking forward to Shepperton Big Tree night. Every year thousands of people congregate in the high street, and I often bump into old friends. One year I bumped into a couple whose son was a school friend of mine in the 1980s, who I haven’t seen for ages. 

The atmosphere in Shepperton on Big Tree night itself is generally warm and convivial. Of course, we all enjoy mulled wine and other Christmas delights. It has certainly been an eventful year, and I think this the least we all deserve.