At school there was an annual school disco and I'd be standing in my bedroom wondering what to wear for hours on end. Eventually I'd arrive at a decision that was just the most ridiculous costume you could have ever devised - I think it was probably knitted Christmas jumpers on top of buttoned-up white shirts.
I put the copy of 'A Christmas Carol' that my grandfather had first read to me 60 years ago on my desk and I began to write. The result for better or for worse is the 'Christmas Spirits.' I plan to read it to my grandson.
The upheavals of adolescence silenced 'A Christmas Carol' for a few years. I became a firebrand atheist. Christmas - humbug! Too commercial! Then I became an agnostic. Christmas was a pro-forma affair basically a chore. Buy mother a book dad a new tie my brother and sister small gifts. Pretend thanks for the fountain pens and shirts I received.
Every Christmas now for years I have found myself wondering about the point of the celebration. As the holiday has become more ecumenical and secular it has lost much of the magic that I remember so fondly from childhood.
In fact I was one of the few trusted people that Lucy allowed to play with their kids. I spent time at their summer home rode horses at their ranch and swam at their beach house. I even spent a Christmas with them at Palm Springs one year.