Crisp air outside curls tendrils of frosty breath in the window, adding to the feeling of warmth for those inside.
The vibrant reds and greens and silvery sheens on the tree accentuate rosy cheeks and lips sipping on spiced wine.
A smile, a laugh, sugary grins; animated faces sharing happiness, giving space for freedom of emotion.
Charred parsnip tips, soft carrots, crispy potatoes and tender meat, dripping in warm, salty gravy. A feast for the eyes, nose and, yes, mouth. No sound but the gentle murmur of quiet enjoyment before the first mouthful is washed down with red wine and a sigh.
Lights, bright, heating on full. Dark outside.
Sitting on the sofa, crumpled wrapping paper. Cards, card games and music. Winning, losing, cheating (but not too much). Sherry, leftovers and bed.
As you lie awake, you reminisce. Thinking of family, and friends, and neighbours. Thinking of today, and yesterday, and the past year. You smile and fall asleep. Don't worry about tomorrow, because today it's Christmas.
- Oliver Clare, 2009