The orchestra has been exceptional. The evening is closed by our President. He asks the organising committee to stand and our efforts are warmly applauded. The moment strikes me with how much we have learned from preparing this event. My enthusiasm for Queens Park Football Club is refilled. This is more than a football club. Tonight we have succeeded in providing amusement for all our members beyond the field of play.
The remaining weeks of December run like clockwork. I board the train home from the office on this beautiful crisp evening. The evening paper proclaims the 25th day of December. Once home, Emelia hands me a package.
Inside there is a beautifully inscribed card with “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” from my friend Robert Smith. His accompanying letter explains how he is adapting to his life in England and how Christmas is celebrated differently. Trees are decorated. Christmas cards, a recent invention, are sent. Gifts are exchanged between family and friends. This is in stark comparison to Scotland, which has long banned ‘Yule Vacations’. Hogmanay is Scotland’s main celebration.
He further explains this has been greatly accelerated by an exceptional novella. I open the parcel. The book is entitled “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
The fire is lit. A whisky poured. I sit down to read it.