As I type this, this afternoon the Men’s World Cup Final took place. I was not inclined to even check to see who the contestants were, and the result – and the winner – remain a mystery to me.

I was motivated to wrap up my blog posts for this year. For the first time since I began blogging, I decided that I would take a break from blogging altogether over the last two weeks.

Two whole weekends without a single word committed to screen. Just my usual retweets and reblogs – and, even then, only during a one-hour window once a day, when I sneak onto the internet to check up on my emails and social media.

I still have some creative stuff to do – a short story for my friends, and maybe a few paragraphs on a short story I’ve had brewing for a few months now – but all I really want is to sit somewhere under a bright light, and read some actual books.

My festive dream is to sit in the warmth, reading, while rain beats at the windows. No TV. Just me, books, and an endless supply of tea and coffee. That would be, for me, sheer Yuletide bliss.

In reality, I’ve opened up to my followers on social media. Some of you might want to talk to me about things which are bothering you. It’s December. Between the Christmas festivities and the New Year, this whole month is guaranteed to be overwhelming to some, if not many. So I’ll be listening out for people looking to chat with me.

It feels as if the only proper response at this time of year is to share. The TV adverts this year have been appalling – just greed, consume, consume, consume, beasts at the trough, so your tiny bit of cash can line the pockets of the rich.

There is nothing that you have to do. The media are bombarding you with messages to buy, buy, buy, but you can never have a Christmas like the actors in the ads are having. Besides, they shot these ads in August. Nothing in TV land is real. Their jobs depend on successfully brainwashing you like lab rats. They’re desperate for you to comply.

The only thing you have to do is just live. Maybe help your neighbours to mark Yule. Nothing is mandatory at this time, so, if you’re strapped for cash this year, let it go. There’s no shame in not marking Christmas. Not how they want it.

Pagan Yule is meant to be a festival of survival at the darkest time. And these are the darkest times for us all, for more than 22 years. So if all you can do is huddle together, do that. After the Solstice, the days will only get brighter.

And maybe 2023 will see brightening times. Or at least the breaking of this great darkness that is the Tories.

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