I’m an atheist.  But what I get to see at this time of year is something really special; people all around me struggling to do something for other people, usually not in the expectation of any great return, and often in aid of simply getting together with friends and family to have a good time, in the hope that others will have a good time as well.

Lots of them do it from some belief in something;  that’s nice for them.  Some of us do it because it feels good, and we hope that will rub off on other people and feel good for them too.  The outcome, however, is the same; the winter holiday provides us with an opportunity to break, if only for a few short hours, from our routines to be nicer than we normally are.  Your mileage may vary.

Of course, there are plenty of arseholes, too, and no doubt some morons will, probably also driven by a belief in something, take an opportunity to shoot or bomb people off-guard for the holidays, or quash a rebellion.

And, if history tells us anything, there will probably be a natural or man-made disaster as well.  Tonight already a coach crash in England has left 17 injured, nine seriously, and the RAF has had to rescue three from a burning cargo ship in the English Channel.

What I’m saying, I suppose, is this:  do try to enjoy yourself.  Have, as far as possible, a peaceful and refreshing holiday, and be nice to the people around you.  And if you do meet an arsehole, try not to tell him he’s one.  He’s probably me.