Gail's Gab: let's cherish family, not just presents

I have always been a sucker for the preparations, paraphernalia and madness that makes this time of year so special.

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With just cause Christmas is slammed for becoming more of a retail festival than a Christian festival but I reckon it all depends what you try to make of the festive period that counts.

I have been blessed throughout my life with loving parents who ensured my sister and I grew up loving Christmas and the love and togetherness that it meant.

For us it wasn't about bargains, or expensive gifts, or Boxing Day sales, it was about staying in together and having a lovely meal, watching Christmas shows and films. Is that all just nostalgia now? I hope not. We still get together as a family and we have the added pleasure of small children with joy etched on their faces as they open whatever gifts they have received.

Of course we do try and teach them to cherish the love of the family and not just the presents. We try and promote the maxim that the most important thing at Christmas is what's around the tree, not what's under it.

The many charities and organisations that try and remember the elderly on their own, the homeless and the children in care or hospital deserve massive support and credit throughout the year but most especially at this time of year. I wish everyone's memories could be as warm and positive as mine.

Last week a local pub organised a free lunch and drinks party for its senior citizen customers and partners. More than 50 of them joined my mum and dad at the Argosy on Paisley Rd West and had a great time.

Well done to the Argosy and all the other pubs and clubs who put on similar events across Glasgow.

Bay City Rollers trump One Direction easily

The Christmas lights all over the city are fantastic. From George Square and Royal Exchange Square to the lights twinkling on the homes of ordinary people. They are cheery and fun.

Well done to all those who have put in the effort to brighten up homes and streets. The children love them and will always remember them as we did when we were kids.

My friends and I were recently recalling with much sentiment the old Lewis's department store Christmas window display and how we looked forward to seeing the moving figures and then going to see Santa in the grotto. He was always the best.

We also decided that all the old Christmas songs from the 70s are far better than those penned today and that we got as much joy and excitement out of a Top of the Pops greatest Hits album as kids today get from their i-phones and Tablets. And that The Bay City Rollers were far better than One Direction. Obviously this conversation was fuelled by copious amounts of the Christmas sherry and wine. Hic!!

Merry Christmas.

Families

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